After earning top honours at the York Region Science and Technology Fair, six students from the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) will join the country’s top young scientists at the Canada-Wide Science Fair next month.

The fair, held in Ottawa from May 16-18, will welcome 500 student finalists and their 400 projects. Coordinated by Youth Science Canada, its goal is to take science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) out of the classroom to encourage youth to find solutions to real-world problems.

The York Region Science and Technology Fair, held April 7 at Stephen Lewis Secondary School, was open to Grade 7 through 12 students from across York Region with projects that fell under one of six categories: biotechnology, earth and environmental sciences, engineering and computer sciences, health sciences, life sciences, and physical and mathematical science.

Local school board students entered 73 projects. Gold medal winners attend Bayview Secondary School, Maple High School, Thornhill Secondary School and Richmond Hill Secondary School. The winners and the names of their projects are:

• Shirothie Puwaneswaran: We Are Stressed Out!
• Anna Tymofyeyeva: Analysis of Atypical Sensory Adaptation in Schizophrenia Through Modern Brain Imaging
• Harry Parmar: SYN-VIOLA: The Power of Novel, Designer Bacteria in Real World
• Kamron Zaidi and Sabrina Zaidi: The Effect of Surface Tension on Plant Growth in Fogponics
• Austin Wu: A Novel Approach to Combat Cancer by Altering Levels of Sphingomyelin in the Cellular Membrane

Before heading to the nation’s capital, the gold medal winners will be mentored by Innovation York. YRDSB students also 15 silver medals, 13 bronze medals, nine special prizes and awards, and seven honourable mentions at the York fair.

“We are very pleased to see our students perform so well at the annual York Region Science and Technology Fair,” said Heather Sears, education, curriculum and instructional services superintendent, in a news release. “Their success is a testament to all the hard work performed throughout our schools year-round by our students and dedicated staff.”