‘Love’ of science shows
Korah student shines at annual Rotary fair
Shail Giroux reaped the harvest of his hard work, picking up five awards at the 31st annual Rotary Science Fair Algoma.
The Grade 8 at Korah Collegiate and Vocational School student capped his achievements with best in fair, earning an invite to Canada Wide Science Fair in Ottawa in mid-May.
Giroux told reporters he was “really happy” with his strong showing Saturday at Algoma University’s George Leach Centre.
“I put a lot of work into it,” he said. “I love science.”
Giroux started work on his entry, GGATS: GPS Guided Autonomous Transport System in mid-November. He estimates he dedicated 70 to 80 hours preparing his exhibit for judges to review on Friday.
Giroux, 13, interviewed a Saskatoon berry farmer in Saskatchewan and Bruce Parks, of Parks Blueberries in Bothwell, Ont., to help him prepare his science exhibit. His tool is meant to save “lots of time and effort” for owners of family-operated farms.
Giroux anticipates competing against, and learning from, other entries at the national event in a month.
It’s “not unusual” for a younger student, such as Giroux, to win best of fair, says event co-organizer Dante Carlascio.
“But it is impressive that Shail’s project won in so many categories,” he said.
Korah graduate Jordan Winter attended four national science fairs. She’s now a second-year biology student at Algoma University. Winter helped judge this year’s Sault science fair.
“It’s definitely much less stressful,” she said of her new experience. “It’s really interesting to see the decision-making process and the kinds of discussions that go on. It’s been really neat to see things from both perspectives.”
Winter won bronze at the national science fair in 2015. She’s “so excited” for Sault students such as Giroux who head to Ottawa in May “because they are going to be blown away.” The Canada-wide event gave her a chance to meet top scientists, participate in tours and workshops and meet other students.
She’s developing an interest in ornithology, or study of birds. She volunteers at Algoma’s ornithology lab and will work at the site this summer.
“I’m new,” said Winter. “I don’t know a lot yet, but in the past few months I’ve learned so much.”
Rotary Science Fair Algoma drew 97 entries from 144 students.
Judges, led by judge-in-chief Sarah Ackert Ferguson, watch for entries that are practical and “a little bit different,” said event cochair Dante Carlascio.
A shortlist of students are interviewed for 10 to 15 minutes by judges that include Gina Mohammed, research director and co-owner of P and M Technologies, Madison Zuppa, area co-ordinator of environmental services for City of Sault Ste. Marie, and Amanda Roe, a research scientist at Great Lakes Forestry Centre.
Sault Colleges hosts a bridge building competition on May 5. Five hundred bridge building kits have already been distributed with more ordered. Students from Echo Bay, Elliot Lake and White River will join Sault Ste. Marie participants.
Science fair winners:
Alfred R. Askin shields for best school teams: Korah (junior), St. Mary’s College (intermediate), Korah (senior);
Professional Engineering of Ontario best in engineering: Shail Giroux (Korah), Daria Humeniuc (Korah);
Tenaris innovative use of robotics: Shail Giroux (Korah);
Superior Digital Solutions best use of math: Amelia Spacek (Ecole secondaire Notre-Dame-des-Grands-Lacs;
Algoma best in computer science: Shail Giroux (Korah);
Gary Rahn memorial award best in natural history: Rainbow Assiniwai (Korah);
Gary Rahn memorial award best in green thinking: Teely Hopkin (Korah);
Attilio Berdusco award for best in health sciences: Megan Aikens (Korah);
University of Ottawa $1,000 entrance scholarship award: Olivia Melisek (Korah);
Algoma University $1,000 entrance scholarship award: Julia Casagrande (Korah);
United Steel Workers 2724 Judges’ Award in sport science: Domanique Camara and Rachel Reed (Superior Heights);
United Steel Workers 2724 Judges’ Award individual merit: Ava Zwimer (Queen Elizabeth);
United Steel Workers 2727 Judges’ Award scientific communication: Saurodeep Majumdar (Korah);
Third place junior: Erica Groot and Alicia Groot (Korah);
Second place junior: Vera Antunes and Brooke Donnelly (Anna McCrea);
First place junior: Shail Giroux (Korah);
Third place intermediate: Daphne Dupuis and Mya St. Jean (Superior Heights);
Second place intermediate: Amelia Spacek (Ecole secondaire Notre-Dame-des-Grands-Lacs);
First place intermediate: Julie Delorme and Raili Kary (St. Mary’s College);
Third place senior: Sanskruti Patel (Korah);
Second place senior: Mitch Fillmore (Korah);
First place senior: Julia Casagrande (Korah);
Sixth best of fair: Amelia Spacek (Ecole secondaire Notre-Dame-des-Grands Lacs);
Fifth best of fair: Vera Antunes and Brooke Donnelly (Anna McCrea);
Fourth best of fair: Julia
Third best of fair: Julia Delorme and Raili Kary (St. Mary’s College);
Second best of fair: Mitch
First best of fair: Shail Giroux (Korah).
Shail Giroux won five awards at Rotary Science Fair Algoma, including top exhibit, at Algoma University's George Leach Centre on Saturday. View photo gallery at www.saultstar.com.