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Students reflect on national science fair experience

Six students travelled to Ottawa for the event from May 25 to June 1.

THUNDER BAY – A recent journey to the nation’s capital was one to remember for six Thunder Bay students.

Delilah Dodd-Smith of Whitefish Valley Public School, Celeste Marcon of Nor’westerview Public School, Madeeha Rehman of Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute, and Nathan DeLorenzi, Persephone Mills and Dexter Wrigley of St. Ignatius all went to Ottawa for the Canada-Wide Science Fair from May 25 to June 1.

“It was definitely more than I expected,” Marcon said. “Going in, I was really just thinking about the part where we were going to be judged and not really about everything else that goes on during that week.”

“There’s so much that you get to experience during that week,” Dodd-Smith added. “Just being able to go to Ottawa was exciting, but I got to meet so many people while I was there.”

In addition to showcasing their projects to 8,000 visitors who came to the fair's open houses, the students got to explore the campus of Carleton University and got the chance to chat with astronaut Jeremy Hansen, who is a mission specialist for Artemis 2 flight that is slated to circle the moon next year.

“Here in Thunder Bay, we don’t have the opportunity to meet people like that all that often,” Marcon said.

“It was really cool to speak with someone like him and learn about everything that they are doing.”

Two of the students received awards for their projects.

Mills earned a bronze medal and two university entrance scholarships for her “The Effectiveness of Honey and Bee Propolis as an Antibacterial Agent” project.

Meanwhile, Wrigley’s project on “The Effect of Barrel Length on a Projectile” earned him a scholarship for the Shad Canada summer enrichment program.

“I never really expected this project to get to the Canada-Wide Science Fair,” Wrigley said.

“It really just began as a passion project and it was really cool to see how far it kind of grew from there.”

In addition to showcasing their projects, the students also made connections with people from across the country.

“A lot of the friends that I made while I was there are all trying to get in the Science Fair again next year so that we can all see each other again,” DeLorenzi said.

“The advice I’d give to someone who was going there in the future is to just put yourself out there and talk to people. You are going to find someone that you really connect with and the week will go way better than if you just keep to yourself.”

Rebecca Cross, who is the regional director for the Northwestern Ontario Regional Science Fair, said the group of students made a strong impression while in Ottawa.

“Thunder Bay was really lucky to have such a great group of students represent us,” Cross added.

“So many of the other representatives from the other regions said our group really stood out, which was really cool to hear.”

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