Challenge your students!

Mon, 2011-10-17 21:08 -- Reni Barlow

Canada and the world are facing tough problems. Canadian youth want to make a difference. They know science isn’t easy, but it’s important. We’re challenging them to make their world a better place.

And with nearly $1M in awards, prizes, and scholarships, we’re serious!

Challenge your students to use their curiosity and creativity – and the inquiry and critical thinking skills you’re teaching them – to tackle these issues by investigating a question or designing a solution to a problem.

The Canada-Wide Youth Science Challenges target seven issues that matter to Canadian youth, the future of their country and their world – Discovery, Energy, Environment, Health, Information, Innovation and Resources.

Real science and engineering – real world problems. If science fair makes you think volcanoes and solar systems, you couldn’t be more wrong!

In 2011:

  • Discovery: A grade 11 student from St. John, NB developed a combination of sprays that protects lettuce plants from cold weather
  • Energy: A grade 11 student from Fort St. John, BC tested cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) from a local lake as a potential biofuel source
  • Environment: A grade 9 student from St. Catharines, ON found that certain household plants can be used to remove lead from soil
  • Health: A grade 7 student from Winnipeg, MB investigated the effects of folic acid on blood cells
  • Information: A grade 11 student from Pickering, ON developed a better way to search small web documents, such as tweets and news headlines
  • Innovation: a grade 8 student from Ottawa, ON designed and tested a better sports helmet to prevent concussions
  • Resources: A grade 9 student from Liverpool, NS found a new use for clam and oyster shells – neutralizing sulphuric acid in the process of recycling car batteries

…just a few of over 500 grade 7-12 students – from every province and territory – whose Challenge projects competed at the 50th annual Canada-Wide Science Fair in Toronto.

As a science teacher, you know that science content is only part of the picture, but teaching inquiry and investigation skills, and making STS connections can be tough. If you’re looking for more student engagement, deep and meaningful learning, real-world application, and the opportunity for authentic assessment – get your students working on a Challenge project. We can help:

  • Access science inquiry resources from our Smarter Science initiative
  • Connect your students with others doing projects through our SMARTS online community

Challenge projects can be entered in a Regional Science Fair – most in March or April. There are over 100 regional fairs, in every province and territory, where students can be selected for the national finals – Canada-Wide Science Fair 2012 – May 12-19 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Find your nearest regional science fair.

Challenge YOUR students to invent the future.