Two of Calgary’s top high school scientists were selected by Youth Science Canada to be part of an eight-member team representing the country at the 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) from May 10-15 in Anaheim, California. Sophie Hoye Pacholek and Shounak Ray were chosen from thousands of projects submitted to a distinguished panel of 17 university faculty, researchers, educators and Team Canada-ISEF alumni through a competitive national selection process that began in October and concluded in March.

“Everyone at CYSF is extremely proud of Sophie and Shounak. They have persevered with their projects and truly made Calgary and Canada proud,” said Katrina Watson, President, CYSF. “We are disappointed that they won’t get a chance to showcase their projects at ISEF 2020 because of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, but we know that this won’t be the last we hear of these two, bright students.”

Sophie Hoye Pacholek from Henry Wise Wood High School was selected to show her project titled, “Biomimetic wings for enhanced aircraft performance”. In 2019, Sophie took home multiple awards from the Calgary Youth Science Fair, has represented Calgary at the Canada Wide Science Fair for the past four years, and won a Gold Medal of Excellence at the 2019 Canada Wide Science Fair.

“I was delighted to be selected for Team Canada ISEF 2020, along with seven other amazing young scientists,” said Hoye Pacholek. “While I’m saddened that I won’t be attending the fair in Anaheim this year, I’m grateful that Youth Science Canada recognised the safety risks involved and decided not to send a team this year.”

Shounak Ray from Webber Academy was selected for his project, “Predictive Diagnosis for Parkinson's Disease Through Machine Learning”. At CYSF 2019, Shounak also won multiple awards and then took home a Youth Can Innovate Award, a Ted Rogers Innovation award, and a Silver Medal for Excellence Award at the 2019 Canada Wide Science Fair.

Regeneron ISEF is the world championships of science fairs. Unfortunately, the team will not participate in the event as a result of the preventative measures enacted in Canada and the U.S. to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Selection for ISEF 2021 will begin next winter. Watch the Youth Science Canada webpage for details.