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Two GNS Students Win Bronze Medals at Canada-Wide Science Fair

To qualify for the Canada-Wide Science Fair, students had to first participate in the Vancouver Island Regional Fair. 
Congratulations to Kaitlyn Chan ’26 and Katharine Morley ’25 for winning bronze medals at the 2023 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Edmonton! The event is the country’s largest annual youth science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) event. 

Katharine’s project was titled “Plastered Plants Defeat Drought: Exploring the Effects of Ethanol on Drought Resistance Plants.” She tested different ethanol-based fertilizer solutions on radish plants to see if she could improve their ability to survive drought conditions.

“The initial stages of my project were, honestly, not so enjoyable,” she explained. “I had a lot of difficulty with actually growing the plants for my experiment, and in doing so I accidentally massacred them! Definitely a huge setback for my progress, but thankfully I started far enough in advance to be able to plant a new batch or two. However, after finally collecting my data I really enjoyed writing my report and assembling my various poster presentations.” 

In recent years this event was only held using a virtual platform, so this was the first time in a few years that the Canada-Wide Science Fair was held in person, and this led to a lot of great moments for Katharine. 

“It was an unreal experience. Perhaps my favourite part was meeting so many unique and awesome people across Canada,” she said. “The organizers did a great job in planning full and immersive days for us, and I got to partake in many cool activities while exploring the city in Edmonton for a week with my Vancouver Island teammates. It was ten thousand times better than participating online, which I did last year.”

Katharine was joined by Kaitlyn at the event, who also won bronze for her project “Greening the Flames: Investigating the Abilities of Plants to Reduce the Impact of Wildfires.”  Katharine noted it was a great feeling being joined at the podium by her GNS teammate. 

“It was quite exciting,” she described. “I wasn't sure what to expect with such a solid field of competitors, so I was surprised when I heard my name called. I was humbled to stand on the podium at such a prestigious event with my GNS and Vancouver Island teammate Kaitlyn, as well as many talented youths from across Canada.”

To qualify for the Canada-Wide Science Fair, students had to first participate in the Vancouver Island Regional Fair. Ten GNS students did a wonderful job sharing their knowledge at this event. The results of the regional science fair are below: 

Katharine Morley
Project: Plastered Plants Defeat Drought
6th Overall, Advanced to Canada-Wide Science Fair
Nathan Geminiano Award (for advancing to nationals for a second time)
Association of Professional Biologists Award
Kaitlyn Chan
Project: How do the impacts of wildfires affect the growth of plants
7th Overall, Advanced to Canada-Wide Science Fair
BC Agriculture in the Classroom Award
BC Nature Award
Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology Award
Victoria Natural History Society Award
Alexis Kuo
Project: An environmentally friendly approach to extracting heavy metals from solutions utilizing melanin found in hair
1st Senior Division 
Julia Lane Scholarship Nomination
Alumni Award (for enthusiasm)
BC Institute of Agrologists Award
Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society Award
Rotary Environment Award
Ayden Kuo
Project: Exploration of an energy sustainable approach to enhance heat exchange
1st Junior Division 
1st Place Engineers & Geoscientists of BC Award
Schneider STEM Award: Best Sustainable Solution
Alyosha Silvester
Project: Converting Sound Energy to Electrical Energy
2nd Junior Division 
BC Game Developers Innovation Award
BC Hydro Power Smart
Alumni Award (for enthusiasm)
Kevin Su
Project: Memory over time
3rd Junior Division 
Noah Grand
Project: Environmentally Friendly Anti-Bacterial Cleaner
Genome BC Award
ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Award
BC Institute of Agrologists Award
Amelie French
Project: Horse apples aren’t what you think
Victoria Natural History Award
Phoebe Dendes
Project: Photo Volts
Second place in the Rotary Environment Award
UVic Faculty of Science Award
Shreesha Ramandev
Project: How Different Audio Frequencies (hertz) Affect Heart Rate (bpm)?
UVic Faculty of Social Sciences Award

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We wish to acknowledge and respect the Straits Salish Peoples on whose traditional territory we gather. Specifically, we recognize the Lekwungen Peoples known today as the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land where we live, work, play and learn continue to this day.