The East Kootenay Regional Science Fair

66 projects, representing about 80 students’ work, were presented for judging on Friday, March 8

Students from all over the East Kootenay, from Golden to Cranbrook and then all the way east to Elkford, gathered at the College of the Rockies this past weekend for the annual East Kootenay Regional Science Fair (EKRSF).

A total of 66 projects, representing about 80 students’ work, were presented for judging on Friday, March 8 with a further 30 projects presented the next day.

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66 projects, representing about 80 students’ work, were presented for judging on Friday, March 8

The theme for this year’s fair was “the origins of science.”

“With so much technology advancing things so quickly, sometimes we forget that a lot of the technology that’s being created nowadays started hundreds of years ago,” said Todd Hebert, executive director of the Columbia Outdoor School and chair of the EKRSF and so we wanted to kind of have the kids refocus back and think a little bit about some of the origins of science.”

Hebert explained that kids didn’t necessarily need to follow that theme and were allowed to come up with projects outside of the theme, it was intended to five the students some guidance to start thinking about where and how science started.

A huge group of volunteers, comprised of individuals involved in the field of science in one way or another, came and evaluated the projects. Students were judged on a number of factors including how they developed their hypotheses and if their hypothesis was concise, how they set out their project, how they carried out their experiment, how they dealt with problems they encountered and what they concluded from it.

“The evaluators will go through a process of evaluating all of those pieces and asking the students questions and talking with the students and they receive a number,” Hebert said. “Every project is judged three to five times, they’re averaged.”

Parkland student Tanner Eckersley was one of last year’s winners with his project that tested the effect of forest fires on soil. For winning last year, he got to go to Ottawa for a week, visit numerous museums, have lunch with MP Wayne Stetski and compete in the national science fair. This year his project focused on post traumatic vision syndrome and vision therapy.

“I was diagnosed with post traumatic vision syndrome which is more of a broad term, so I have something called ocular flutter,” Eckersley said. “So whenever I read my eyes shake extremely violently to the point where I can read anymore so I tried a new type of vision therapy by Simon Fraser University to see if it could help to decrease the severity of my ocular flutter, and increase the time I’m able to read.”

Eckerlsey, alongside Braxton Chan, Alexandra Harrington, Keanu Chan, were this year’s winners, who will now be headed off to Fredericton, N.B. to compete in the Canada-wide fair.

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