The Cariboo-Mainline Regional Science Fair

Posted On Friday April 05, 2024

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, Intellectual Development Priority, we create learning opportunities and environments in which students develop their critical and creative thinking as well as their literacies in different disciplines, including Science. One way that we encourage the sharing of students’ learning is through an annual science fair.

The Cariboo-Mainline Regional Science Fair was held at Thompson Rivers University on Tuesday April 2 and Wednesday April 3. This fair happens annually, and the top science projects from elementary and high schools from around the region are submitted for judging and students can receive awards ranging from books, medals, trophies and monetary or a combination of the same. In total, over $8000 dollars of provincial cash prizes and scholarships were given away. 

Ninety-five students from three school districts presented 80 projects to 30 volunteer judges over the two days. Two School District 73 students from Valleyview Secondary, Gunnar Koehn in grade 8 and Gavin Ewen in grade 11 had their projects selected to compete at the Canada Wide Science Fair in Ottawa on May 25, 2024.

A summary of each of these winning projects is summarized below.

Gavin’s Project in his words

Many people have electric vehicles (EV), and many more plan to get them in the upcoming years. Many people also have solar panels on their homes. Currently there isn't a direct way to charge your EV with your solar panels. I wanted to see if I could power an electric car entirely off the grid. Specifically, I wanted to see if it was physically possible to charge a Tesla Model X with commercially available solar panels, and in an economical way, storing the energy in batteries. I answered this question mathematically then confirmed my data using a functional 3D model. I discovered that with today's technology it just isn't possible to break even to cover the cost of the panels and the car. It would take close to 90 years to pay off my investment!  My inquiry reveals an important gap in technology that needs to be filled for people to make sustainable choices in buying a car and updating their homes. 

Gunnar's Project in his words

In a computer, between its central processor and its cooler, there’s a viscous, metallic paste that serves as a heat transfer medium called thermal paste. Nobody actually said you have to use thermal paste there though. So I decided to test 9 different substances that you could find in your fridge or pantry and compare them against conventional thermal paste. The results were interesting to say the least!

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