Young minds, no limits

Junior scientists strut their stuff at annual Manitoba Schools Science Symposium

Erupting volcanos need not apply.

Instead think: bacteJunrial plagues; bio-fuels; and data-mining to understand the stock market.

Modern science-fair projects – and the young minds behind them – are smart and innovative. And this year’s array of science projects at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium was no different.

More than 525 students — all in Grades 4 to 12 — unveiled their research during the April 20 to 24th event in Winnipeg. And Doctors Manitoba was there too, as a major sponsor of the 46th annual event.

Inside the Max Bell Centre at the University of Manitoba, students competed in seven divisions and four age categories over the four-day event. There’s a lot at stake other than bragging rights. Winners share in more than $30,000 worth of scholarships and special awards. Eight top students are also sent to the Canada- Wide Science Fair every year. (The 2017 national fair was held May 18 to 20 in Regina.)

“Every year I’m amazed at what is being turned out from grade 7 and up — it’s phenomenal,” says Neil McAlpine, the symposium’s executive director.

“The younger kids, the Grades 4, 5 and 6, even their projects are becoming more sophisticated. The knowledge and the presenting skills are just amazing. They are so advanced.”

“They’re professional research projects,” McAlpine says.

The projects are a culmination of a year’s worth of research for a lot of the students. And many have competed in school and community competitions first before entering the MSSS.

The MSSS is serious business. Students present their projects to teams of judges who include professors, researchers, grad students, and other industry professionals. Whatever the final
results, all of the students get medals for their projects. And that’s in very big part to $20,000 sponsorship from Doctors Manitoba. The organization provides all the cash awards for all the major individual and group projects; pays for all the medals; and sends three award-winning students to the Canada-Wide Science Fair every year.

“I’m, so grateful to them. I can’t thank the doctors enough. I just thank god every day for all our sponsors, especially the University and the doctors, because without them we couldn’t do this,” McAlpine says.

Doctors Manitoba is proud to be a major sponsor of the 2017 Manitoba Schools Science Symposium. Doctors Manitoba sponsored the following categories. Congratulations to all the winners.

Best Overall Group Elementary
Magnetic Car Plug
Students: Evan Goetze, Graeme Williams
School: La Barriere Crossing
Best Group Junior
Best Overall Group Junior
The Effect of Nail Polish on Pulse Oximetry
Students: Hope Applemans, Aliya Kabani
School: St. John’s Ravenscourt

Best Overall Group Intermediate
The breakdown of Lignocellulosic biomass
into glucose for potential energy production
Students: Fatima Saqib, Laiba Saqib
School: Fort Richmond Collegiate

Best Overall Group Senior
ReefHub – A Novel Autonomous Coral Reef
Conservation System
Students: Derek Yin, Himanshu Sharma
School: Fort Richmond Collegiate

Best Overall Individual Elementary
Burning the Best Biofuel
Students: Magdalena Slivinski
School: Holy Ghost School

Best Overall Individual Junior
Applying data mining to analyze past stock
trends and create algorithy to forecast stock
Students: Sparsh Agrawal
School: Acadia Junior High

Best Overall Individual Intermediate
Is there a relation in the levels of antibiotic
resistant genes found in bacteria and phage
Students: Excellence Madukwe
School: Acadia Junior High

Best Overall Individual Senior
Improving Artificial Neural network Accuracy by
Optimizing Hyperparameters through Gradient
Students: David Owen Randall
School: Fort Richmond Collegiate

CWSF7 Plaque and CWSF
ReefHub – A Novel Autonomous Coral Reef
Conservation System
Students: Derek Yin, Himanshu Sharma
School: Fort Richmond Collegiate

CWSF8 Plaque and CWSF
Peptide-Directed Selective Knockdown of
Misfolded SOD1 by Chaperone-Meditated
Student: Justin Lin
School: St. John’s Ravenscourt