Team Calgary Wins Best-in-Fair!

Congratulations to our Canada Wide Science Fair team this year.  We proudly delivered in Regina, winning two of three Platinum Awards and the Best in Fair!  Additionally, Team Calgary won 3 Gold, 5 Silver, and 3 Bronze Medals, bringing home over $90,000 in awards.

Have a look at the team and their results:

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Colette Benko

Novel Pediatric Cancer Therapy: Targeting Epigenetics to Induce Differentiation
School: St. Mary's High School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Senior Gold Medal
  • Best Project Award
  • Platinum Award - Best Senior Project
  • University of Ottawa Undergraduate Research Scholarship Award
  • Youth Can Innovate Awards Senior
  • Astra Zeneca Challenge Award - Health
  • Dalhousie University Faculty of Science Entrance Scholarship
  • UBC Science (Vancouver) Entrance Award
  • University of Manitoba Entrance Scholarship
  • University of Ottawa Entrance Scholarship
  • Western University Scholarship
An Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) inhibitor was investigated for it's effect on differentiation pathways in neuroblastoma cells. Differentiation is the process of specializing and maturing, by inducing this in neuroblastoma it allows for better treatment outcomes and lower chance of relapse in patients. The inhibitor shows promise as a new therapeutic agent for treating neuroblastoma through differentiation.
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Crystal K Radinski

EEG Coherence as a Marker for Alzheimer's Dementia
School: Webber Academy
Awards:
  • Platinum Award - Best Intermediate Project
  • Excellence Award - Intermediate Gold Medal
  • Statistical Society of Canada and Biostatistics Section Award
  • Youth Can Innovate Awards
  • Astra Zeneca Challenge Award - Health
  • Western University Scholarship
The study explores pathophysiology of dementia in order to develop an objective instrumental method for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. If synaptic disconnection responsible for the failure of the brain to integrate various regions into effective networks, then the electroencephalographic evidence of the disruption of functional connectivity could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s dementia. EEG biomarker of neurodegenerative dementias was discovered and evaluated as a diagnostic method.
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Anika Achari

Innovative Technology to Remove Emerging Contaminants from Drinking Water
School: Sir Winston Churchill High School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Intermediate Gold Medal
  • Western University Scholarship

Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) are being increasingly detected in municipal drinking waters. This study is aimed at evaluating the toxicity of a particular CEC; bisphenol A on the growth and differentiation of animal cells and on seed germination. Furthermore, a novel integrated water treatment system has been developed. Test results indicate that the water system degrades and eliminates CECs from drinking water.
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Tim Wu

Exploring the Novel Use of Eggshells to Address Organic Solar Cell Instability
School: Sir Winston Churchill High School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Senior Silver Medal
  • Youth Can Innovate Awards
  • Dalhousie University Faculty of Science Entrance Scholarship
  • UBC Science (Vancouver) Entrance Award
  • University of Ottawa Entrance Scholarship
  • Western University Scholarship

While the common societal perception of solar cells is focused on monocrystalline silicon solar cells, organic solar cells provides benefits such as low manufacturing/processing costs and molecular tunability. However, instability of organic polymers is vastly understudied and has yet to be fully addressed. Unprocessed waste eggshells were explored as a cheap, environmentally friendly, abundant alternative to orthodox methods of addressing the prevalent issue of photo-degradation.
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Emily Gubski

Inducing Delta 32 mutation in CCR5 T-cells to develop HIV immunity in patients
School: Sir Winston Churchill High School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Senior Silver Medal
  • Weizmann Canada Award for Scientific Achievement
  • Dalhousie University Faculty of Science Entrance Scholarship
  • UBC Science (Vancouver) Entrance Award
  • University of Ottawa Entrance Scholarship
  • Western University Scholarship

There exists a mutation in 1% (homozygous) of the Caucasian population (called the delta 32 mutations) which causes people to be resistant to HIV. This experiment is a proof of concept to show that through inducing a deletion in the patient's T-cells, it is possible to induce this mutation in HIV patients to result in a building resistance to HIV.
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Sophie Hoye Pacholek

Going Viral: Exploring and Inhibiting Viral Assembly
School: Louis Riel Elementary Junior High School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Junior Silver Medal
  • Western University Scholarship

Viral assembly mechanisms were explored using a 3D printed physical model. Incremental assembly rates and assembly intermediates and pathways were investigated. Two attempts at viral inhibition were performed. The most successful method of viral inhibition was substituting mutated pentamers for regular pentamers. A possible application of this work is using the CRISPR Cas9 genome editing technique to implement this mutation.
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Faris Fizal

Linalyl Acetate: A Novel Phytochemical Based Alternative to NSAIDs
School: Westmount Charter School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Intermediate Silver Medal
  • Western University Scholarship

NSAIDs are analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs that cause alarming side effects on the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, and cardiovascular system. This study investigates linalyl acetate, present in lavender, as a phytochemical based alternative to NSAIDs. Linalyl acetate is a safe, affordable, and effective alternative solution for the millions who have to make a choice between debilitating pain and the risks of NSAIDs.
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Monica Lopez

Serotonin controls mood-like responses in plants
School: Westmount Charter School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Intermediate Silver Medal
  • Western University Scholarship

Serotonin is a mood regulator in animals, controlling appetite and stress regulation. These roles of serotonin were studied in plants. By changing different concentrations of serotonin in Arabidopsis plants it resulted in mood-like responses, notably carbohydrate intake and cold stress. Lack of serotonin in plants increased carbohydrate uptake and stress tolerance. Manipulation of serotonin content in plants has implications in plant growth and productivity.
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Nicole Schmidt

Optimizing Fluid Flow Systems
School: Sir Winston Churchill High School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Senior Bronze Medal
  • Canadian Stockholm Junior Water Prize
  • S.M. Blair Family Foundation Award
  • University of Ottawa Entrance Scholarship
  • Western University Scholarship

I developed a method to create and stabilize bulk bubble foam, which was then used to successfully separate ultrafine heavy metal particles dispersed in industrial processing water and groundwater. Through a reduction in the frequency of bubble coalescence, I increased the agglomeration rate of the foam, improving overall stability and density, which increased the total recovery percentage of particulate matter from the fluid system.
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Mehul Gupta

Liquid Biopsy: A Novel Diagnostic Technique for Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor
School: Sir Winston Churchill High School
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Senior Bronze Medal
  • University of Ottawa Entrance Scholarship
  • Western University Scholarship

Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor is an aggressive form of cancer affecting the central nervous system of patients typically 0-36 months of age. Typical diagnosis of this disease and other malignancies requires invasive and often insensitive surgical tissue biopsies. This investigation focused on gene mutation and expression analysis, thereby developing a novel liquid biopsy procedure with a diagnostic sensitivity of 96%.
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Catriona McIntosh

How Attachment Affects Informed Risk Taking in Adolescents
School: N/A
Awards:

  • Excellence Award - Junior Bronze Medal
  • Western University Scholarship

The leading cause of death among adolescents today is accidents. Brain activity, specifically in the nucleus acumbens and prefrontal cortex, contributes to adolescent risk taking exceeding that of any other age group, increasing with peer presence, and not decreasing with education about the risks. My project concluded that a secure parental attachment could reduce the impact of peer presence on adolescent risk taking.
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Varun Kundra

A Novel Biosensor for the Detection of CNS Injuries
School: Webber Academy
In this project, an electrode-based biosensor was developed to measure the concentration of the S100B protein which is correlated with central nervous system injuries such as concussion, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. The non-invasive, portable, and highly selective CNS injury biosensor will allow diagnosis by a finger-prick blood test within 30 minutes in under $10.