High schoolers to compete in big science fairs


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Two students from Fort Richmond Collegiate in South Winnipeg are representing their community at national and international science competitions this month.

16-year-old Keerthan Kamala Krishnamoorthy will represent Team Canada at the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, held in Dallas, Tex. He is one of eight students selected by Youth Science Canada to represent the nation at this world-renowned competition.

Keerthan’s project – called “Detection of Harmful Microorganisms in Drinking Water using Deep Learning” – aims to make safe drinking water more accessible. In his research proposal, Keerthan plans to make a mobile phone app that can take a photo of water, analyze the photo, and determine if it is safe to drink. The app requires the use of a paper microscope to magnify the water sample, which Keerthan says is inexpensive and widely accessible around the world.

Supplied photo

Dr. Anju Bajaj and students at the Bison Regional Science Fair, held last month at Holy Cross School.

Another Fort Richmond student, 12th grader Annika Paliwal, is heading to Edmonton to represent Team Bison Manitoba at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, hosted by Youth Science Canada.

Annika’s project, titled “A Long Term Study Using Serious Games to Diagnose and Treat Dementia,” aims to help diagnose and treat dementia in its early stages using computer games.

Annika coded one game to test associative memory (the ability to remember the association between two objects) and another game to test procedural memory (the ability to retrieve the necessary memory to complete simple tasks). It will take years before she knows the long-term results of these games, but Annika feels that the results so far are very promising.

In their path to reaching these national and international competitions, both Keerthan and Annika participated in the Bison Regional Science Fair at Holy Cross School in St. Boniface in April.

The Bison science fair, an affiliate of Youth Science Canada, brought together students from 10 schools across Winnipeg and featured over 200 projects submitted by students in grades 4 through 12.

Dr. Anju Bajaj – a STEM educator at Holy Cross School and founder of the local science fair – said she was “so happy with the community response,” and that she “wasn’t expecting such a huge success.”

The community truly came together to support these young scientists with local organizations sponsoring the event. According to Dr. Bajaj, the event could not have been the success that it was without these sponsors, especially the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology, which provided mentorship for many of the students.

I will be following the stories of Keerthan, Annika, and their teams at their upcoming competitions, and I encourage all our community members in Winnipeg South to do the same.

The future is looking very bright in the hands of these young scientists and engineers.

Terry Duguid

Terry Duguid
Winnipeg South constituency report

Terry Duguid is the Liberal MP for Winnipeg South.

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