Arts & Life
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This article was published 18/5/2019 (449 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
They went and they conquered.
Westman had its best showing ever at the Canada-Wide Science Fair last week in Fredericton, N.B.
"We had three medals and three special awards and the most that our region has ever seen at Canada-Wide before," said Robyn Forsman, the chief judge at the Western Manitoba Science Fair and the adult delegate who accompanied the four Westman students to Fredericton.
"It’s huge," she said of the students’ wins.
The national science fair was held from May 11-18.
"We’ve been working hard on our regional science fair the last three years, and we’ve had some pretty amazing kids come through, so it’s been exciting," said Forsman, a teacher at Brookdale Elementary School northeast of Brandon.
One of those big winners was Emily Robb, a 16-year-old student at Vincent Massey High School in Brandon.
Emily won a $4,000 entrance scholarship to Western University in Ontario with her Gold Excellence award, as well as a cash prize with her Nutrients for Life Foundation award of $1,000 along with winning the Environmental Challenge award.
"I kind of surprised myself with these awards," Emily said from her family’s home just outside Alexander.
This was her third trip to the Canada-Wide Science Fair, but her first win.
Emily’s winning project related to — get ready for it — determining if there was a specific hydroponic fertilizer nutrient concentration that allowed arugula lettuce to statistically produce more biomass.
"I’m really into sustainability, stewardship, food security, all that kind of stuff," Emily said. "So I thought that if we use the sustainable method of agriculture hydroponics, and we try to induce food security by using the most effective fertilizer, then we can produce more food in a small space while also letting our environment rehabilitate, not degrading it any further."
Emily said she’s proud of everyone who won in Fredericton.
"Lots of people think science fairs are just making a soda volcano," she said. "But no, it’s a lot more than that, and when people win on the national stage and bring it back home to their community, it really creates a buzz and then people want to do it."
And that, she said, increases the number of students who want to take part in the science fair the next year.
The teen said she’s not planning to use the scholarship to Western. Her dream is to head west to study plant genetics, plant pathology or agricultural engineering in British Columbia.
Emily said she’s already preparing for next year’s science fair.
"It’s never to early to think about next year," she chuckled. "I’ll probably be starting within the next month or so again. I want to do science fair until I can’t do science fair anymore."
The other winners from Westman are:
• Amy Gudmundson (Ecole Jours de Plaine, Laurier) won a Silver Excellence medal in the Intermediate Category. She also was awarded a $1,000 SHAD scholarship. SHAD is an annual Canadian summer enrichment program for high-achieving high school students. The program is open to both Canadian and international students and is offered at 17 participating universities across Canada.
• Aiden Simard (École secondaire Neelin High School) won a Bronze Excellence Award in the senior category. Aiden is working with Brandon University to get his work on adolescent anxiety and social media published.
Rayna Shepherd from Kirckaldy Heights School also attended the national science fair but did not win.
» Twitter: @BudRobertson4
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