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News Release: FMPSD students sweep WBRSF fifth year in a row

(Fort McMurray, AB – April 19, 2016) For the fifth year in a row Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) students have swept the Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair (WBRSF) and will represent the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo at the national event. The 9th annual competition was held on April 16 at Shell Place, and saw 30 out of 36 FMPSD medal winners with 27 out of 29 special awards also secured by FMPSD students.

Team Wood Buffalo features MacKenzie Guy, Ecole McTavish Junior High School student, Linda Guo, Dhvani Patel, and Dhrumil Shah all from Westwood Community High School. They are off to the Canada-Wide Science Fair happening in Montreal from May 14-21.

“I didn’t see this coming,” said a very happy, but surprised MacKenzie, who is in grade eight.  For her project “Chillin’ with Hot Flashes," she invented a device that assists in decreasing hot flashes; and tested it on a human subject.

Linda Guo is in grade 12, and heading to the nationals for the second year in a row. Her project called “In-Sight,” featured a hat for the visually impaired.

“My project seeks to provide greater versatility and affordability than traditional methods will allow. In-Sight alerts the user to obstacles through detection by an ultrasonic sensor and communication through vibration motors and speakers. I’m honoured to represent Westwood and Fort McMurray at the nationals again,” shared Linda.

Dhvani Patel, is in grade 10, and created “SMART Drone Technology,” for humanitarian purposes.

“Basically I developed a drone smarter than current drones, which can help in disaster zones. It can be used to assist with humanitarian response at no additional cost. It feels great to represent Westwood, and I’m looking forward to learning about other projects in Montreal,” said Dhvani.

Also heading to the nationals for the second year in a row, Dhrumil Shah, who is in grade 10 came up with a water pump system for desalination which is 900% more efficient than the current technology.

“My project is called ‘Optimizing a Novel Water Pump and Resonator System to Improve the Accessibility and Applicability of Water for Human Necessities.’ It feels great to be heading to the nationals again,” he shared.

Vicki Dawe, WBRSF board member and Westwood science teacher was thrilled with the results.

“I love science fairs. There’s so much more than just science going on. Students are getting invaluable practice at public speaking. Producing their reports, writing multiple drafts and editing all improve their literacy skills.  Their numeracy improves with the data collection, analysis, and graph production required.  Of course, they learn so much about the science method during the work on their projects as well.”

Doug Nicholls, Superintendent, FMPSD was in attendance for the awards ceremony. He congratulated students and staff on their outstanding achievement.

“I want to thank our students and staff for their dedication. This is the result of everyone working together including our parents and volunteers. Our vision to create a school system is strengthened by these accomplishments.”

Congratulations to all participants.

Photo: L-R: Mackenzie Guy, Ecole McTavish School, Dhrumil Shah, Westwood Community High School, Corey Carson, WBRSF, Dhvani Patel, and Linda Guo both from Westwood are off to the Canada-Wide Science Fair 

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Coordinator

Fort McMurray Public School District #2833

Cell: 780-880-7666

Work: 780-788-8009

Kiran.malikkhan@fmpsd.ab.ca