Budding scientists compete for best STEM project at Keele Campus

Two Female Students Building Machine In Science Robotics Or Engineering Class

Using neural networks to detect disease, creating alternative energy sources, and improving quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities are some of the STEM projects young scientists will show off at York University during the York Region Science and Technology Fair (YRSTF) this Saturday, April 1.

Top projects will receive gold, silver and bronze medals.

While this is the eighth year York will host the event, this year is the first since the COVID-19 pandemic started that the students will be back on the Keele campus.

More than 100 York Region science students in grades 7 through 12 have prepared 63 projects – either an innovation or discovery. This year sees more senior projects than usual, and many returning silver and bronze medalists, with many students showing off new apps this year.

The projects fit into eight categories: agriculture, food and fisheries, curiosity and ingenuity, digital technology, disease and illness, energy, environment and climate change, health and wellness and natural resources.

During the fair, students will display their work in Vari Hall, with a public viewing from 1 to 5 p.m. The awards ceremony will take place immediately following the display.

The science fair will also include an activity – Science Adventures with York University scientists.

York University Professor Rebecca Pillai Riddell, of the Faculty of Health, is co-director of the YRSTF@York partnership, and was instrumental in bringing the event to York’s Keele Campus in 2016. Fellow co-directors are Professor Robert Tsushima, Faculty of Science, and Professor Regina S.K. Lee, from the Lassonde School of Engineering.

Dozens of judges, including York professors and PhD candidates, will review the submissions and the gold-medal winners will move on to represent the region and compete at the national level at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. The winners will be among 500 students from across the country vying for the title of Canada’s best science fair project.

Participation in the fair is open to all students currently attending a York Region public, Catholic, or private school; who are homeschooled; or who reside in York Region.

York Region District School Board and the York Catholic District School Board are among the major sponsors of the fair, which is a partnership effort between York University and the York Region Science and Technology Fair Organizing Committee.