Nova Scotia

Budding Nova Scotia scientists show gear up for national science fair

Forty young Nova Scotia scientists gathered at the Team Nova Scotia Showcase at Saint Mary's University on Thursday to showcase their research and design achievements in the fields of biotechnology, computing and mathematical sciences, and engineering life sciences.

'I don't have an engineering degree, but I'm working with people who do and I'm learning a lot,' says student

Phylecia Ferguson is a Grade 12 student from Elmsdale, N.S. She's one of the 40 students who will represent Nova Scotia at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. (Aya Al-Hakim/CBC)

For two years, Phylecia Ferguson has been developing customizable shoes for ballet dancers to help minimize injuries, but there's an obstacle she faces.

"One of my challenges is my knowledge. I'm in high school, I don't have an engineering degree, but I'm working with people who do and I'm learning a lot along the way," said the Grade 12 student from Elmsdale, N.S.

Ferguson is one of 40 junior high and high school students who were at Saint Mary's University Thursday to showcase their science projects to guests and university professors as part of the Team Nova Scotia showcase.

The presentations included topics such as how to tackle climate change, manage disease and prevent injuries. The showcase was part of a preparation for the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair, which will be held in Fredericton this year.

The acting dean of science at Saint Mary's University, Lori Francis, said the event teaches students the skills they need to become successful scientists.

Lori Francis is the acting dean of science at Saint Mary’s University and one of the event's organizers. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

"They're learning about the topic, they're learning to evaluate the sources of information they find, they're learning to add to that knowledge base, so many of these students would have collected their own data and run their own experiments," she said.

Ferguson said her work for the science fair has inspired her to apply for a health sciences degree next year.

Ferguson is showing a 3D-printed device that can be worn on both sides of the feet to protect the bones from getting injured. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

"I have so many things I want to learn and there are so many people who have such great ideas, so to see us all come together at this age, like under 18, most of us, is amazing and the fact that this is our future is comforting," Ferguson said.

More than 10,000 secondary students in Nova Scotia participate in school-based science fairs, with more than 1,000 students moving on to participate in a regional science fair. Of these students, only 40 are selected to represent Nova Scotia at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

About the Author

Aya Al-Hakim

Reporter

Aya Al-Hakim is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. She can be reached at aya.al-hakim@cbc.ca.