Annual science fair puts cool back into learning

Vancouver Island Science Fair attracts record number of students

University of Victoria graduate research student

There was the potato battery, the waist size experiment and a lava lamp how-to. But the big hit at the Vancouver Island Science Fair held at the University of Victoria was a working hovercraft.

Built by École Victor-Brodeur Grade 6 students Jacob Gronnestad and Maximillian Sonier, the one-metre wide duct-taped cardboard disc hooked up to a shop vac prompted a lineup of kids and adults waiting for a ride.

“Red Green would be proud,” said one man watching from the sidelines as the boys showed off their project which worked very well transporting visitors three metres across the hallway floor of the Elliott building where the fair was held.

It was a record year for science fair organizers with 220 students from Vancouver Island elementary, middle and secondary schools attending the two-day event on April 14 and 15. The Society for the Advancement of Young Scientists, organizers of the fair, president Randy Enkin said in the past when there’s been a teachers’ strike attendance has dropped below 100. “It took us five years to get back to 150,” said Enkin who’s been president for 12 years. He credits the popularity of TV shows such as Mythbusters for prompting kids’ renewed interest in science.

“The science fair really gives them a place to workshop their ideas, to figure out where their interests are, and to make them young scientists so they can go further,” said Enkin, whose own two sons took part in science fairs and are now studying science at university.

Gronnestad and Sonier first purchased a small model of the hovercraft from a downtown science store but then decided to build a larger version with a design they found on the Internet.

“We like it because it floats, it’s good transport, and it’s cool,” said Gronnestad.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: A morning in a physically-distanced Victoria

Residents commute in a pandemic-changed city

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Saanich bylaw sparks EV charging infrastructure requirements in new builds

All new developments to be EV-charger compatible starting Sept. 1

Summer program helps Greater Victoria teens sharpen writing skills

Registration for the program runs until Aug. 17

Langford cuts red tape, engages in random acts of kindness to uplift spirits

‘I Am Langford’ campaign promotes supporting local

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read