October 22nd, 2020

Science fair going online


By Jensen, Randy on April 25, 2020.

Tyler Hay

For The Herald

The Lethbridge Regional Science Fair will be held online this year, after being postponed due to limits on public gatherings in late March.

The Southern Alberta Technology Council (SATC), which has organized the Lethbridge Regional Science Fair since 2002, is now accepting video submissions of student projects from Grades 4-12 until April 30.

“While postponing until a time when we could run the full event would have been ideal, given the uncertain timeline, we wanted to have something in place that was possible within our current social restrictions,” said Dr. Locke Spencer, SATC president in a release.

Youth Science Canada (YSC), the parent organization of the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF), has cancelled the 2020 CWSF, which was scheduled to take place in Edmonton in May. A few regions held Regional Science Fairs in advance of the public restrictions, but many cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For many of our participants, the science fair is something they look forward to each year, and many have already completed projects and had school science fairs,” said Kelly Oikawa, SATC board member.

YSC will be hosting an online fair for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which will be open to virtual project submissions from students across Canada.

“These young scientists are our future, and this could set an example of how to move forward, adapt and problem solve in an ever-changing and complex world. I think today’s youth could use a message of being positive, innovative and dealing with challenge, as opposed to much of the negative press and noise on social media, and this could offer that opportunity,” said Oikawa.

Spencer said Lethbridge is one of few regions in Canada hosting a virtual regional science fair this year.

“I am glad to hear that the science fair will still occur amidst this uncertain time,” said Charl¬Źne Golsteyn, a virtual judge for this year’s event. “I think it is important for students to have a chance to present and be rewarded for their hard work.”

Virtual project judging will take place from May 4-11. A public showcase will be held virtually following the project evaluations.

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