High Prairie students off to nationals

Amara Drefs

Richard Froese
Two students of Prairie River Junior High School in High Prairie have qualified for the Canada-Wide Science Fair next month.

Eve Keay and Rae-Anne Gill, with their combined project of Eco Death, won the overall best in the fair at the Peace Country Regional Science Fair on March 16-17 and Excellence Award for first in the health and life sciences category.

Both in Grade 9, the students prepare for the national science fair May 15-20.

“I’m excited that we qualify for the national science fair,” Gill says.
“We both care about the environment and the chemicals that are put into the environment.”

Her project partner echoed that response.

“I am elated with the result and the opportunity to compete at the national science fair and represent the Peace region,” Keay says.
“We also have a lot of work ahead of us.”

For the Canada-Wide Science Fair, Gill and Keay and all other participants are required to improve their projects.

As well, the High Prairie students will meet with the three other regional winners who will compete at the national event for team-bonding days, Keay says.

Gill and Keay will be the first Prairie River students to compete in the national science fair since 2008 when Grade 8 student Kendall Carlson received honourable mention, says her mother and Prairie River teacher Kelly Carlson.

Amara Drefs, Grade 8, was the only other Prairie River student to finish in the top two at the regional fair, when she placed second in chemical sciences for her Thermal Equilibrium project.

“I did a lot better than I expected,” says Drefs, who was top student in the school science fair Feb. 16.

School science teachers also gave top marks for the local winners.

“We are extremely proud for our three girls for their creative project ideas that were able to compete at the top of the regional level,” says Prairie River science teacher Neil Pereira, who organized the school science fair for the first time, assisted by teacher Erlene Richards.
“We found that all of the students we sent to the regional science fair had put in an amazing amount of hard work since our local fair.”

Students had sacrificed their own personal time on top of their school work and extra-curricular activities, he says.

The Canada-wide Science Fair, the finale of the National Science Fair Network, brings 500 of Canada’s top young science students to showcase their real-world solution to some of the globe’s most important issues while they compete for nearly $1 million in awards, prizes, and scholarships, states information on the event website.

Prairie River students who finished first or second at the school science fair competed in the regional science fair.

They included Kieran Larson, Kyle Calahesin, Alexis Stewart, Madison Bourque, Dawson Cardinal, Elly Beamish, Kura Stout, Davin Degner, and Naomi Strebchuk.

Prairie River Junior High School students Eve Keay, left, and Rae-Anne Gill hold their awards as best overall in the Peace Country Regional Science Fair and Excellence Award in the health and life sciences category.

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