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Surrey and Delta students showcase innovative ideas at regional science fair

South Fraser Regional Science Fair was at KPU April 9-10
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Sreya Kurup (Frank Hurt Secondary, Surrey), left, Kate Czuczor (Southpointe Academy), Visisht Kodali (SAIL Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning) and Ishan Leung (Southpointe Academy, Delta) will attend the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. (Contributed photo)

Students from schools in Surrey and Delta came together for the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Newton campus April 9- 10.

The chief judge and founding committee member Karen Morley said 107 students in grades 7-12 from Surrey and Delta public, independent and home schools participated.

Teachers selected which students would take part in the fair. This year, 82 projects were presented, with some projects having two students working on them.

A team of 43 volunteer judges selected the winners. The judges are mainly from the academic community, including secondary school teachers and professors from KPU, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

The students also select their favourite project for the student choice award.

Four students from the fair will attend the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. Morley said they normally send eight students and two adults but can only afford to send four students due to funding shortages and loss of sponsorships. Morley added that it normally costs around $2,000 per kid, and they send one adult to every four kids.

Kate Czuczor (Southpointe Academy), Ishan Leung (Southpointe Academy, Delta), Visisht Kodali (SAIL Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning) and Sreya Kurup (Frank Hurt Secondary, Surrey) will attend the Canada-Wide Science Fair from May 26 to June 1 alongside 450 science fair students from across the country.

The Canada-Wide Science Fair will be livestreamed online at cwsf.youthscience.ca.

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Visisht Kodali, 15, from Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL) poses for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Kodali, 15, from Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL), project involved an artificial intelligence (AI) powered app that can diagnose wounds and tell you how to heal them.

The grade 10 Delta resident said the app is not quite there yet. “It would work in the future, but you would need a lot more data to increase the accuracy and make it actually accessible for like, the majority of patients.”

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Katie Czuczor, 16, from Southpointe Academy in South Delta poses for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Katie Czuczor, 16, a grade 11 student from Southpointe Academy in South Delta tested whether people work better with the lights on or off.

“I often find in classrooms, my classmates commonly debate whether they want the lights on or off. So what I really wanted to see is if there was a right answer to that and if one works better for people,” Czuczor said.

She did two memory tests out of 42 points, and the same guidelines were followed for each test. The only difference was for one test, the lights were completely on and the other the lights were dimmed so they could see the test.

“My hypothesis has been confirmed,” Czuczor said. “When the lights are on, people work more efficiently and have a better learning quality.” Lives in Delta

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Ishan Leung, 18, from Southpointe Academy in South Delta, poses for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Ishan Leung, 18, from Southpointe Academy in South Delta, project focused on a neuro scan AI machine that can interpret medical imagining and learn similar to how the human brain learns.

“I trained it on a bunch of tumour MRI scans, and through that, it has 99.98 percent accuracy when identifying a tumour,” said the Richmond resident.

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Sreya Kurup from Frank Hurt Secondary poses for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Submitted photo)

Sreya Kurup, from Frank Hurt Secondary, project investigated the impact natural antibiotics have on bacteria.

“Our study shows that the combined solution of vitamin C and ginger is very effective against bacterial growth. Therefore this topic should be further explored by reserachers to promote healthier lifestyle for all,” reads Kurup’s conclusion of the project.

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Henry Xu, 16, from Elgin Park Secondary poses for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Henry Xu, 16, from Elgin Park Secondary, created a bird-safe wind turbine.

“The turbine is designed to be safe for birds, so it can be used in places like parks, in housing areas like residential and other places where wind turbines wouldn’t be able to be used because of migratory birds.”

The South Surrey resident said the turbine would have a “minimal effect” on the bird population.

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Aaliyah Moxley, 14, from Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL), poses for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Aaliyah Moxley, 14, from Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL), project adapted the LifeStraw, an individual portable water filtration, into a communal filtration product.

Moxley, who has been working on the project for three years, used a bicycle to power the pump. This was the first year that the South Surrey resident created a physical model.

It could filer and pump out around 1.3 litres of water a minute.

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Mark De Boer, 13, from Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL) poses for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Mark De Boer, 13, from Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL), created a thermochromic doorknob for fire safety.

The doorknob is normally brown, but when it gets warm, it changes colour to pink, De Boer said.

“The reason why you’d want this is when in a fire, what you want to do is before you go through a door, you want to feel the doorknob to see if it’s warm and then you go through,” De Boer said.

De Boer’s innovation will change colour when there is a change in temperature. “So then you don’t have to feel the doorknob and risk burning your hand.”

The Surrey student was selected to be one of four students to present their project at the April 10 Surrey School District board meeting but could not attend since the regional science fair fell on the same night.

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Amare Pooni, 13, Grey Elementary in Delta poese for a photo at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair at KPU’s campus in Surrey on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Amare Pooni, 13, Grey Elementary in Delta, the project focused on the impact household bacteria have on plants.

Pooni gathered bacteria from different places around his house, including his mom’s purse, which “turned out to be one of the dirtiest places.”

“After putting the bacteria on the plants, through its leaves and in soil, I noticed a variety of stuff like you can see here black and brown canker, and the leaves started to turn a different shade because it’s a deform growth chlorosis that’s when it’s not getting enough sunlight in the plants draining the nutrients.”

The Cloverdale resident was inspired by his aunt to do this project. “(She) took biology all throughout high school and university, and she’s a pharmacist now, and I’ve seen the way she’s done this stuff, and it really got me interested in it,” Pooni said.

Pooni won a silver medal for his project.



Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I cover health care, non-profits and social issues-related topics for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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