Youth Science Canada Goes World Wide with Virtual Student Project Fair
Sharna Jahangir posted on April 20, 2020 |
Science Fair uses the engineering.com ProjectBoard platform for virtual event.

Youth Science Canada, the nationwide nonprofit that fosters interest and application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) had to cancel all 103 regional fairs as well as its annual Canada-Wide Science Fair due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That left thousands of students planning projects with no place to show them. YSC’s solution was to go big by going online, creating the YSC Online STEM Fair – and by doing so, it has invited the whole world to see the student projects.

Online STEM Fair will be held Tuesday, May 19th of this year. Entries are limited to projects from students in Canada grades 7-12. YSC will be accepting student entries as soon as May of 2020.

Students will be able to showcase their projects in the YSC Online STEM Fair by leveraging the ProjectBoard platform developed by engineering.com. By incorporating new technologies and new project processing methods, they are able to more efficiently explore their passion in STEM.

Engineering and scientific advancements are possible not only by comprehending complex issues and formulating design solutions, but also because of the work ethic and values embodied in the engineering and scientific community, including creativity and communication. This makes youth science fairs an excellent starting point for young engineers and scientists.

Moving to an online platform is the perfect solution for these unprecedented times. Students that need to find technical solutions for their projects may be quicker, more comfortable and better equipped in their home workshops or in maker spaces -- a safe distance from others, of course.

Previous YSC Project Winners

Last year’s winner, Bhavya Mohan’s project “Taking ABiTE out of Cancer: A Novel Aptamer based BiTE for Cancer Immunotherapy” introduces a novel platform that will improve the human body's ability to naturally detect and eliminate cancerous cells and be an affordable alternative to current immunotherapies.

Bronze, silver, and gold medals are awarded to outstanding projects in each grade category. The fair encompasses students in grades 7-12, while finalist compete for nearly $1 million in cash awards, scholarships and prestigious opportunities such as many Canada-Wide Science Fair winners have been selected for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Highly notable former Youth Science Canada winners include Ann Makosinski, inventor of the thermoelectric flashlight, and Alex Dean, inventor of the iAid", a navigational tool for the visually-impaired.

2013 YSC winner Ann Makosinski soldering circuits. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)
2013 YSC winner Ann Makosinski soldering circuits. (Image source: Wikipedia.)

When given the right opportunity, guidance and constructive input, innovations take place. Science fairs provide the encouragement needed to develop into successful STEM researchers and makers. They not only give a young inventor an opportunity to produces an effective outcome using STEM principles, it also develops project management skills and because they have to demonstrate their findings. It fosters communication and presentations skills. For example, if a young researcher would like to develop a newly 3D printed structure, they will have to contact the developers, subject matter experts, and find accurate and peer-reviewed research to support their design, in addition to looking up available resources and assess risk. This develops research skills in advance of students’ university study, creates a strong sense of individuality and encourages students to be more inclined to guided science and engineering project development.

Join us as engineering.com partners with Youth Science Canada to inspire ways to share, discover, collaborate, document and receive recognition for their STEM projects. The online experience is expected to launch in May and for those excited for what's to come, we invite you to sign up for updates.

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