by Lucy Patterson

A raven’s view of the Ottawa Regional Science Fair at Carleton University

It is that time of year again – when young scientists come together to present their science projects at the Ottawa Regional Science Fair. On March 31st and April 1st, 2017, students from grades 7 to 12 from the Ottawa-Gatineau region presented science projects attempting to answer a number of questions. Is it possible to buffer ocean acidification with baking soda? Can cilantro remove lead from contaminate water? Can invasive plants be used to absorb oil in a marina?

Since 1961, this volunteer-run event has encouraged students to design, develop, and present research projects in science and engineering. The students with the best projects are then invited to participate in a Canada-Wide Science Fair. This year, the Ottawa Regional Science Fair was held at Carleton University’s “Raven’s Nest.”

Every year, the OFNC presents awards to the creators of two or three outstanding projects that “demonstrate a knowledge of some aspect of natural history, field ecology, or wildlife conservation.” I have judged these projects with Kathy Conlan, a research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, for the past three years.

Students nominate themselves for the award, and this year there were 16 entries. It was wonderful to see so many projects tackling environmental issues!

This year’s OFNC award winners were Daniel Anderson, for his invention to provide housing for pollinators ranging from bees to beetles and lacewings (“La demeure des pollinisateurs”); Julianne Jeger, for her project examining which type of road salt had the least impact on plants (“L’impact du sel de route sur les fleurs sauvages”); and Ryland Ferrall, for his project demonstrating the effectiveness of the polyphenols in tea for slowing the spread of oil during an oil spill (“The Polyphenol Effect”). Each project was awarded a $100 prize. Congratulations to Daniel, Julianne, and Ryland for their exceptional projects!

Daniel Anderson, second-time winner of the OFNC award, in front of his project, “La demeure des pollinisateurs”

Julianne Jager in front of her project, “L’impact du sel de route sur les fleurs sauvages”

Ryland Ferrall in front of his project, “The Polyphenol Effect”