‘Love’ of sci­ence shows

Ko­rah stu­dent shines at an­nual Ro­tary fair

The Sault Star - - NEWS - BRIAN KELLY btkelly@postmedia.com On Twit­ter: @Saultre­porter

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

Casagrande (Ko­rah);

Third best of fair: Ju­lia Delorme and Raili Kary (St. Mary’s College);

Se­cond best of fair: Mitch

Fill­more (Ko­rah);

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.

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