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Island Lake Regional Science Fair Winners

Congratulations to the finalists of the 3rd Annual Island Lake Regional Science Fair held in St. Theresa Point First Nation, February 6 and 7, 2019. Although judges were impressed with the innovative projects and the con- fidence in which they were pre- sented, only three finalists can move on to the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in May.

Joey Harper of George Knott school in Wasagamack First Nation secured one of the coveted spots with his project called “Kickstart Your Night.” This proj- ect examined the effects of bro- mine, a potentially harmful in- gredient found in several sports drinks commonly used in his community.

Loretta Flett and Mary Wood of St. Theresa Point High School in St. Theresa Point First Nation ex- perimented on how glucose levels affect the rate of healing with their project called “A Wound Healing Assay: Glucose.” Flett lost her father to diabetes and is very passionate about helping her community find ways to deal with this chronic illness.

Amber Knott and Kayden Flett of St. Theresa Point High received help from Elders and Knowledge Keepers to develop their project, “Indigenous Traditional Medicine.” Their project won the MFNERC Mentorship Award, so they get to work with scientists from the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface Hospital to further develop their project.

Grade 6 students of George Knott School, Dakota Knott, Jenaya Harper, and Miranda Mason won the Ted Rogers Innovation Award for their project titled “How to Interact with Deaf People, Hearing Loss, and Speech Disorder.”

Miranda Mason is deaf, and the trio worked together on this project aimed at improving communication with the hearing impaired.

The Island Lake Regional Science Fair encourages greater participation from schools. MFNERC also recently introduced the Keewatin Science Fair to complement the Manitoba First Nations Science Fair in Winnipeg, now in its 17th year.

“Encouraging our First Nations to participate in science fairs promotes opportunities to engage our students in critical thinking and innovation to develop the skills needed to become future leaders,” says Executive Director Lorne C. Keeper.

“The MFNERC team of science facilitators, administrative staff, and staff volunteers worked hard to provide ongoing guidance and mentorship throughout the year to our students,” says Science Fa-

cilitator Rosely Booth. “They are all winners.”

In 2018, Jasmine Wood of Wasag- amack First Nation won a bronze medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa for her project called “Nonverbal Communication.” She received entrance scholarship of- fers from three top Ontario univer- sities, plus other prizes.