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Laurentian SETAC participates at the Ottawa Regional Science Fair

L-SETAC was very pleased to participate in the Ottawa Regional Science Fair (ORSF) for a second year. This year, the ORSF celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Saturday April 2nd 2011 at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. The 2011 ORSF was a huge success with students from grades 7 to 12 contributing 223 projects to the fair. L-SETAC donated $100 to the ORSF to help support the costs of the volunteer-run fair and to help send winners to the Canada Wide Fair. L-SETAC also provided a $100 award for the best project on a topic related to Environmental Toxicology, Chemistry, Pollution, Contamination, Remediation or Environmental Protection.

There was immense interest in the L-SETAC award, with an incredible 62 projects applying for our award. This meant that our hard-working volunteer judges collectively evaluated 28% of all projects at the ORSF! L-SETAC judges were extremely impressed with the enthusiasm, innovation, creativity and scientific excellence of the students. Project topics ranged greatly from exploring the potential use of methane clathrate as an energy source, testing the benefits of combining wind and solar power in a single unit, investigating novel materials for remediating oil spills, to improving the efficiency of extracting bitumen from oil sands with recyclable solvents. Congratulations to Jingxuan (Kingsong) Chen and Heidi Li, Grade 10 students from Colonel By Secondary School for their award winning project "BPA With Your Change". After learning that Bisphenol A (BPA) had reportedly been found in cash register receipts, Kingsong and Heidi were curious to find out whether BPA was present in receipts from large stores in the Ottawa area. Working with scientists from the Chemistry Department of the University of Ottawa, they were able to discover that over 30% of the receipts they analyzed contained BPA. The good news- newer receipts were less likely to contain BPA than older receipts. Kingsong and Heidi also won another special award (Partners in Research and Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research) and Gold (1st) in the Intermediate Health Sciences Division.

Many thanks to our volunteer judges Rebecca Dalton, Marc Fernandez, Hardeep Gill, Gillian Manning and Jessica Rahn! Submitted by Rebecca Dalton

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