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Spotlight on science

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 22, 2010

RANKIN INLET - Science lovers had a chance to showcase their talents in Rankin Inlet earlier this month.

There were 95 projects entered in the Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik (MUI) Science Fair this year; an increase of about 20 from the 2009 fair.

NNSL photo/graphic

Doyle Kowtak has his blood pressure taken by James Sandy, right, who, along with partner Douglas Gordon, received an honourable mention for their Heart Rate and Blood Pressure project at the Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik Science Fair in Rankin Inlet earlier this month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

All the winners came from Grade 10, with Mary-Lou Angidlik taking top spot with her project, Diabetes, while Adrienne Aliyak's "Are you taller than the average bear?" took second.

The team of Hope Makpah and Gail Wallace placed third for their effort, Optical Illusions. Ian Sammurtok and Cory Samok took the People's

Choice Award for their work on roller coasters.

Samok said the project was a lot fun and he enjoyed working on it.

"It only took us a couple of days to put the whole thing together," said Samok.

"It was fun to work on and it's pretty cool to watch it go around the track, especially when it does the loop."

Science teacher Katharine O'Connell said every class in junior high except one participated this year, and four classes from senior high also took part.

She said the quality of the projects at this year's fair was quite high.

"We had a good variety of topics displayed and a lot of students chose to go with the experiment route this year," said O'Connell.

"That's really good because they're using scientific methods instead of research.

"So, rather than just learning about something from the Internet, they're able to conduct experiments and take a more hands-on approach.

"The top five projects were studies on which they had to do quite a bit of analysis or an experiment, and they tend to be the stronger projects."

The top three winners now advance to the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair in Whale Cove early in the new year, where they'll have the chance to qualify for the Canada-wide Science Fair in Toronto, Ont., in May 2011.

O'Connell said about 180 students took part in MUI's fair this year. She said the winners are looking forward to competing in Whale Cove.

"We had quite a few people come out in the evening to see the projects and our science show.

"It's always great to see the public come to support the students' efforts that way.

"The students are pumped about the regional (competition) and looking forward to improving their projects before then.

"The regional is a valuable experience and the students are excited about it."

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