District's ICE scholarship finalists for 2018 pitch projects to panel of judges

Nine Lethbridge School District No. 51 students had the opportunity showcase their projects in front of a panel of judges on Thursday morning.

The students were shortlisted for presentations for one of four Canada 150 Innovation Creativity Entrepreneurship (ICE) Awards scholarships.

The student scholarships were originally developed in 2017 by the Board of Trustees to celebrate the District's vision, along with Canada’s 150th birthday.

The award is not about grades or tests, but focuses on student work exemplifying innovation that has the potential to impact a field of study, business, industry or the community at large.

The following is a brief recap of the nine projects which were picked to advance to the next stage of the selection process:

- Get Pied – Teagan Dixon and Kirsty McFadyen – Grade 12, Chinook High School

Get Pied is a fundraiser started in the winter of 2015. It involved 10 teachers being pied to benefit a charity. It has run annually the last three years at Chinook, and has inspired student involvement and provided an outlet for the school community to positively impact the wider community.

Get Pied was the first project initiated by members of Chinook Leadership. It has now become a tradition at Chinook, one which is consistently exciting, inclusive and successful.

Get Pied was created as a solution to the lack of community involvement, school spirit and inclusion within Chinook, and helped solve these issues in a fun and entertaining manner. Over three years, the project has raised $800 for the Lethbridge Humane Society, Spread the Net and the Lethbridge YWCA Harbour House.

- Arduino Home Automation – Jonathan Smith – Grade 10, Chinook High School

Arduino Home Automation showcase the integration of technology with our environment. Through a programmed Arduino platform, the system takes action based on sensor inputs such as temperature, humidity, water detection, proximity and light, allowing users to customize the monitoring and control of their home.

A sketched-out plan progressed to a system built one step at a time, until a prototype was developed for the Lethbridge Science Fair. A series of setbacks led to a series of project redesigns, before a prototype was developed which not only detects unwanted water before it causes damage, but also triggers preventative action.

- The Awareness Project (TAP) – Chayse Stasiuk – Grade 12, Immanuel Christian Secondary School

TAP included research, drawing, narration and editing of a five-minute video every month, to provide ICSS students information about different mental illnesses. The videos covered new topics every month, and ranged from depression to eating disorders, and included information for those struggling silently with these issues and those who may know someone dealing with one of these issues.

Videos were presented at a short assembly each month, followed up with a talk that summarized and better explained each video.

The goal of the project is to help students in schools across the city know more about mental illness, so they can heal themselves and provide assistance in their community.

- Concussion Policy/Return to Play Protocol – Sara Stewart – Grade 12, Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

The project attempted to explain and create a public policy regarding concussions in sport and a return-to-play protocol. Research indicated Alberta is without a policy regarding returning to play post-concussion, which highlighted the importance of creating a public policy for the protection of athletes.

In-depth research included discussions with a local physiotherapy clinic and research from the Mayo Clinic.

As one in five athletes suffer a concussion in their high school careers, creating a public policy would have a huge, direct and positive impact on over 20 per cent of athletes, and would assist parents, coaches, friends and others feel more confident about the safety of their athletes.

- Coffee Grounds and Water Remediation – Marco Truong, Grade 11, Winston Churchill High School

The project studied the use of coffee grounds in the form of bioelastomeric composite foams for the removal of heavy metal ions from water. It tackled the abundance of coffee grounds to engineer a highly absorptive substance to deal with lead and mercury in water, with a goal to provide remote areas with access to cleaner water.

Searching for a suitable catalyst to transform the grounds to an absorptive substance led to discovering the right substance to stick the grounds together to form a foam.

The hope for the project is to develop a cheap method to remediate wastewater, as the method has potential to replace traditional water-filtrating practices.

- Researching Spatial Abilities – Maiya Clapton – Grade 10, Winston Churchill High School

The objective of the project was to test the strengths and weaknesses in the spatial abilities of men and women by asking them to identify objects that differ in vertical rotation. It was a time-based test that involved matching and rebuilding objects.

Key insights into gender differences in spatial ability were revealed, as women took longer than the ideal 25-minute time set to build Lego models. Male subjects achieved the quickest times.

One of the goals of the project going forward includes why women scored lower and what can be done to overcome it, to encourage woman to in engage in spatially-rich activities that could set them up for rewarding careers later in life.

- Novel (Truth and Self-Discovery), Alice Zhang, Grade 10, Winston Churchill High School

The project has involved the creation of a teen fiction novel, following the story of a young girl in high school attempting to accept the truth about herself. The hope is publication of the novel can inspire students and the general community to take up writing and not be afraid of it.

The novel idea was inspired by a set of short stories written in English class, which were gathered at the end of the semester and pieced together into a novel concept.

Work will continue on the novel into the summer, with the eventual goal to complete the publishing process upon the novel’s completion, in an attempt to encourage students to pursue truth in their studies and encourage others to take on challenges as well.

- The ShareNet – Mathieu Lebon-Volia, Grade 11, Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

The ShareNet is a network of computers which creates a Wi-Fi network which is easy to use to upload and download files on a network not connected to the usual web. In addition to the file-sharing system, users have access to a forum, where they can discuss any subject.

ShareNet operates without human management, as the intelligent system is able to learn from any malicious activity on the network to protect itself against present and future attacks.

ShareNet has the potential to be used by any company that wants to protect data from leaks, as the network operates outside the regular internet. Anyone looking to access files has to be connected to the network via its Wi-Fi access point.

- Marine Environment and Plant Growth – Clara Lebon-Volia, Grade 9, Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

The project involves the use of saltwater from oceans, through a system of natural evaporation and desalination of saltwater, to grow plants in situations where fresh water is lacking.

Due to global warming, there will be less fresh water on Earth, and the fresh water that will remain will be used for consumption. The project is a simple way to use ocean water to feed plants.

In December of 2018, the project will be tested on Reunion Island, a French island in the Indian Ocean. The life-size project will be similar to the prototype, and will involve placing the system on pillars on the surface of the ocean, along with the installation of surveillance cameras to ensure the system is functioning.

Date posted: May 25, 2018