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Two young Nelson girls win Canada-Wide Science Fair in Toronto

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
May 26th, 2011

Two Nelson girls dominated the podium at the 50th Canada-wide Science Fair recently in Toronto, bringing home gold and bronze in the junior category.

Emma Borhi and Miranda Sherell of Trafalgar Junior Secondary competed against hundreds of the country’s brightest young scientific minds for medals, cash awards, scholarships and other prizes worth approximately $1 million.

Entered in the environment challenge category, Borhi’s Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (Cup)! project had been two years in the making.

“In May 2009 I started my science project about disposable coffee cups,” explained Borhi. “I was curious to see what happens to cups after they are used and go into dumps or landfills. I buried six different cups and lids underground in my backyard to see how they would decompose anaerobically. I’ve researched how cups are made, recycled, and the best options for disposing of them”

Sherell, competing in the Health challenge with her project entitled Hidden behind the rainbow.

“We rely on our five senses to analyze the world around us. During the transmission and integration of our senses, our perception can be altered significantly. The purpose of this experiment is to explore the effects of our sight on our perception of taste,” wrote Sherell for her entry.

“A number of variables are compared to see how this works and how this information is used in our everyday life.”

Her experience of traveling to Toronto, competing against the best in the country and coming home with the gold medal was a learning experience that really brought science into reality for Sherell, and opened doors to potential careers once she’s completed her schooling.

“I enjoyed my trip to the national science fair, and I feel that this experience was educational,” said Sherell. “It really affected my understanding of science, and of all the possible career options related to science.

“In my opinion, the best part of the week was seeing and appreciating all the work that finalists at this science fair have put into their project.  I am truly inspired and looking forward to (hopefully) going again next year. I was surprised to receive my gold medal.  There were so many wonderful projects that could have achieved this award, and I am very much honored to be one of the lucky few.  I am proud of myself and Emma for getting this far and grateful to Mrs. Mac for supporting me.”

Ann McDonell — aka Mrs. Mac — traveled with the girls to Toronto to assist the girls and observe the event. Having been now to several Canada-Wide Science Fairs, McDonell thought the Toronto event was particularly well done and was proud to call the girls her students.

“The Canada Wide Science Fair is an exceptional experience for students,” she said. “They are treated to a week of science that truly impacted them. They were surrounded by over 500 students from grades 7 – 12 and were able to find ample opportunity to interact and learn from each other. 

McDonell said the girls spent a great deal of time with their projects, being judged and also sharing them with the public.

“I have attended Canada wide fairs before and found Toronto’s fair to be well organized with lots of activities for the girls each day,” said McDonell. 

“Having the girls both win was unexpected and truly thrilling. Both girls worked so hard before the fair to get their projects up to the national standard and I guess they succeeded. It was a great week for all of us.”

Participating in three categories based on school grade, 78 BC and Yukon students in total received four gold, eight silver and 25 bronze medals as well as seven special awards and 48 scholarships for a total of $91,850 in scholarships, awards and prize money.

About Miranda Sherell

It’s difficult to put myself into words, but in short, I consider myself to be a unique individual — in a good way, of course.

I love drama and I have a role in the school play at my school. My favourite subjects at school are Science and English and I am currently in the process of writing my own novel.

Other activities that I am involved in include soccer, piano, and hip-hop dance. I really have no idea what I want to do after college/university.

I am only in the seventh grade, and I have so many experiences ahead of me that could influence my career choice, this science fair being one of them.

Right now I am considering a career in journalism, but that could change. All I am saying is, the future is indefinite.

About Emma Borhi

My favourite subjects in school are Math and Science. I am in my second year of French Immersion and I love it.

I belong to a swim club, and I also like basketball and soccer. In my spare time I like to read, listen to music and spend time with my friends.

I started geo-caching last summer and find it a fun activity. I love to travel and plan to do a lot more of it in the future.

One of my interests is environmental issues and finding small ways to help the earth. I am definitely going to University, and I can’t wait.

I like the idea of working in international affairs, and maybe even become the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Click here for full list of BC/Yukon winners



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