York University hosts the next generation of scientists April 1 and 2

York University is hosting the next generation of inventors, scientists and thinkers at the York Region Science & Technology Fair (YRSTF) April 1 and 2 at the Keele campus. Some 160 York Region high school students from Grades 7 to 12, their teachers and families will descend on the Keele campus for a full roster of science activities, fun and adventure.


Frank Scarpitti
Frank Scarpitti

The fair is regional science fair that showcases student research and is a true example of partnership between the community organization YRSTF and the York Region District School Board, the York Catholic District School Board and York University.

Students display their own work and participate in a series of activities designed and guided by York University faculty, graduate and undergraduate student volunteers. Some 111 projects will be on display. Faculty from the University in partnership with representatives from the school boards will select the top 11 students who will go on to represent York Region at the Canada Wide Science Fair. Seven prizes sponsored by York University will be presented to students by Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, the fair’s special guest of honour.

“YRSTF is thrilled to be partnered with York University to provide an opportunity for York Region’s young scientists to showcase their research and experience what York has to offer first hand,” said the Youth Science Canada Regional Coordinator – York Region, Nathalie Rudner. “Opportunities such as these are inspiring and essential for the development of our young scientists.”

The six categories of student innovation are: Biotechnology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Engineering and Computer Sciences, Health Sciences, Life Sciences, and Physical and Mathematical Science. Projects can be experiments, innovations or studies.

Highlights of the York Region Science & Technology Fair

On Friday, April 1, from 4:30 to 8:30pm, the students will arrive at the Keele campus to set up their projects in the Vari Hall Rotunda. The budding scientists will then hear from Faculty of Health psychology Professor and York Research Chair in Pain and Mental Health Rebecca Pillai Riddell (she has been instrumental in bringing the fair to York University) as she presents a talk titled, “The Neuroscience of Inside Out”. The students will then enjoy a pizza dinner and movie screening in Vari Hall A.

The fun and excitement begins in earnest on Saturday, April 2 when 100 high school science projects will be on display for formal judging by experienced science enthusiasts from York Region and York University.

Following the project presentations, the students will take part in The Science Adventure Circuit. Students will travel in groups around the Keele campus on a circuit that explores exciting and innovative approaches to scientific inquiry. They will be led on their adventure by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from the Faculties of Health, Science, Environmental Studies and the Lassonde School of Engineering and the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design. As part of their day, they will participate in an interactive lunch presentation about the interdisciplinary intersections between the Faculty of Science and the Schulich School of Business, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

The day closes with a community hour that will give students, their teachers and families an opportunity to view the myriad of projects on display. York University community members are invited to drop by Vari Hall from 3:30 to 4:45pm to see these innovative projects. An awards ceremony will cap off the event with the announcement of the 11 top students selected to represent York Region at the Canada Wide Science Fair and the presentation of the prizes.

Rebecca Pillai Riddell
Rebecca Pillai Riddell

In order to bring the YRSTF to York University, Pillai Riddell worked with the Faculties of Science, Health, Environmental Studies and the Lassonde School of Engineering and the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design, and the Offices of the Vice-President Academic & Provost, the Vice-President Research & Innovation, and the Vice-Provost Students.

“Helping to bring YRSTF at York has been a fantastic opportunity to see partners from across the University enthusiastically come together to support an important York Region community initiative – mentoring tomorrow’s research leaders,” said Pillai Riddell. “The showcasing of all our disciplinary faculties for the fair really highlights some of York’s core values of interdisciplinarity, cooperation, and research excellence”

Co-organizers of the fair are:  Noël Sturgeon, dean, Faculty of Environmental Science; Shawn Brixey, dean, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design; Ken Rogers, professor, School of the Arts, Media, Performance, and Design; Lewis Molot, professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies; Mazyar Fallah. associate dean research & innovation, Faculty of Health; Ravi de Costa, associate dean research, Faculty of Environmental Studies; Robert Tsushima, professor, Faculty of Science; Spiros Pagiatakis, associate dean research & graduate studies, Lassonde School of Engineering, and Jock Phippen (logistics) and director of recruitment & admissions, York University.

For more information, visit the York Region Science & Technology Fair website or Facebook page.