Young minds square off in Canada-Wide Science Fair

Nearly 500 students have filled UPEI in hopes of snagging a scholarship at the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Charlottetown, P.E.I. hosting annual event that showcases Canada's top students

500 students are participating in the annual fair. (Federico Cahis/CBC)

Nearly 500 students have filled the University of P.E.I. in Charlottetown in hopes of snagging a scholarship at the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair.

The grades 7 to 12 students are vying for prizes and awards worth a total of $1 million.

The week-long event is a chance for the top scientific and technical students to show off their work. They'll also have a chance to network with industry officials.

Christoph Vetter, a student from Cape Breton, said he wants to change the future of home heating by using products that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

"I see shops with rusted barrels and just motor oil draining into the ground.  I mean, that's so bad for the environment," he said.

Andy Gleneinning travelled from Ontario to show off his new tool to open jars. It's a large brace that straps on an arm. Glendinning requires hearing aids himself, so he wanted to help other people with disabilities.

Keisha Googoo of Cape Breton was hoping to land a scholarship. "I feel like, proud to be here, and I like to represent our school and Nova Scotia. It's big for us."

Ellen Song of Wolfville, N.S. is also hoping to make a name for herself at the event.

Her experiments have an anti-fungal effect on apples, making them smell better.

"The point of my project wasn't for monetary gain, I just did it out of scientific curiosity," she said. "Lots of projects at Canada-wide have commercial potential, and who knows?"

But career opportunities aside, Song said the science fair is one of the best experiences of her life.

"I've learned so much from it, life lessons and met people and got research experience as I want to go into research in the future."