Sudbury Region Science Fair Students Capture Top Honours on National and International Stages

Students from Rainbow Schools returned home from national and international science fairs with impressive awards, putting Sudbury’s youth at the forefront of scientific discovery.

“We are very proud of our students for their outstanding achievement,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar. “Our young scientists were among the best in Canada and around the world. They continue to shine on national and international stages.”

“Innovation is alive and well in Rainbow Schools, evident by the depth and breadth of topics that students explored,” added Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “Students drew on their natural curiosity and unleashed their creativity to develop high quality science fair projects that earned national and international acclaim. We are beaming with pride.”

“The Sudbury Regional Science Fair Committee congratulates Brendon Matusch on his success at the International Science and Technology Fair and the six students who represented Greater Sudbury so well at the Canada-wide Science Fair.  We are very happy these students were recognized and rewarded for their hard work,” said Nicole Chiasson, President, Sudbury Regional Science Fair.

She added: “We thank the sponsors who support the regional science fair and made this trip and experience possible.  We thank the teachers who encourage inquiry and hands-on science through the development of a science fair project. We hope the success of these students will encourage others to discover the world around them through a science fair project.”

A Grade 11 student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Brendon Matusch captured three awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona for his project “Improving Particle Classification in Dark Matter Experiments”. He received a Second Place Grand Award, which put him in the top 50 or so of 1,800 students worldwide, and two special awards, the China Association for Science and Technology Award and an honorable mention in the NSA Research Directorate – Mathematics Award. Brendon Matusch established different methods of machine learning, a category of artificial intelligence, to automatically optimize classifiers to properly identify dark matter.

Results were equally as impressive at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Fredericton, New Brunswick where students were among 500 young scientists showcasing their discoveries.

Nethra Wickramasinghe, a Grade 10 student at Lockerby Composite School, captured Gold in the intermediate category for her project “Neuropsychiatric Interconnected Wearable System using CBT”.  She also received the Youth Can Innovate Award in the intermediate category and a Golden Ticket to a STEM Entrepreneur Course.  Nethra Wickramasinghe developed a non-invasive wireless system that aims to treat neuropsychiatric disorders with a wearable biomedical sensor and a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) application.

Kerry Yang, a Grade 9 student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, garnered Silver in the intermediate category for her project “Weeding Out the Secret to Antibiotic Resistance”. She also earned a Golden Ticket to the STEM Entrepreneur Course. Last year, Kerry Yang discovered that dandelion root extracts have beneficial effects on heavy metal-induced antibiotic resistance. This year, she explored the elemental composition of dandelion root to determine the components responsible for reversing the resistance.

Jordan Fergani and Edward Xiong, Grade 8 students at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, captured Gold in the junior category. They developed “ATLAST” (Auto Temperature Live Alert System Thermometer), a device that uses thermal technology and motion cameras to monitor children who are left alone in a vehicle.

Trevor Meek, a Grade 8 student at Carl A. Nesbitt Public School, earned Bronze in the junior category. He researched the “Development of a Timed On-Demand Wireless Heated Washer Fluid System.” In an effort to improve driver safety, he created a device that tackles automotive windshield de-icing and eliminates streaking from fluid.

Adam Selalmatzidis, a Grade 7 student from Northeastern Elementary School, also participated in the Canada-Wide Science Fair after capturing top honours at the Sudbury Regional Science Fair. He explored the most economically and environmentally efficient way to design and package a pizza in his project “It’s Hip to be Square: Shaping a Solution to Waste Reduction”.