Penticton students put science skills on display

Four Penticton students move on to Canada-Wide Science Fair in Lethbridge, Alta.

Charley Smith will represent Penticton at the Canada-Wide Science Fair next month in Lethbridge

Charley Smith will represent Penticton at the Canada-Wide Science Fair next month in Lethbridge

The easy part of Charley Smith’s science fair project was figuring out how to use wood pellets to power an internal combustion engine; the hard part was explaining how he did it.

“I didn’t know if the judges understood. That’s what made me nervous,” Smith, a 13-year-old Penticton student, said Friday while awaiting results at the Central Okanagan Regional Science Fair.

It seems the judges understood just fine, as Smith, along with three other Penticton students, were awarded gold medals that earned them the right to represent the region at the Canada-Wide Science Fair next month in Lethbridge, Alta.

Smith’s project uses an electric stove element to heat wood pellets to 93 C, at which point a flammable gas is released and funnelled into the air intake of a small engine that was built to run on gasoline.

The McNicoll Park Middle School student noted the concept is in use commercially to generate electricity, but said he was just looking for a gasoline alternative to fuel his go-kart.

“I’m trying to make something that’s efficient, that’s cheap to run, so I found this,” he said, adding his parents helped him come up with $300 for parts.

Joining Smith in Alberta will be Jessica Broder, a KVR Middle School student whose project aimed to find out how people’s gender, age and  senses affect their ability to taste foods.

“When you eat something, your brain pre-thinks about what you’re eating before you actually eat it. For example, if you eat an apple, you pre-think about if you like apples, the type of apple, if it’s juicy, and all that,” said Broder, 13.

“I found out that each time I added another sense, (your taste) improves by 19 to 22 per cent and you need everything to be able to taste properly. You need the consistency, the texture, the colour, the smell, everything.”

Fellow KVR students Garrett Cruickshank and Keaton Woods, who teamed up for a project on distracted driving, were the other gold medalists who earned a spot in the national fair.

A total of 66 entries from 77 students in Grades 6-10 were featured last week at the regional fair, which was staged at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland. Contestants represented public and private schools from Kelowna south down the valley.

Other local winners included:

Silver medals: Rylan van der Meulen and Winter Frizzell (Summerland Middle School), Ryann Buckingham (KVR).

Bronze medals: Sophie Taylor and Madeline MacIntosh (KVR); Trista Algar and Sophie Cormillot (SMS); Brett Wilson (SMS); Luc Benoit (SMS); Danny Grant (SMS); Emma Russill (SMS); Sylvia Mott (Summerland Secondary School).

Backdrop awards: Alyse Kohler Mergel (Skaha Lake Middle School); Chloe Knowles (SMS) Sophie Taylor and Madeline MacIntosh (KVR); John Nemes (ConnectEd).


Special awards: Sophie Taylor and Madeline MacIntosh (KVR), B.C. Innovation Council Young Scientists Award; Sylvia Mott (SSS), BCIC Student Award; Raja Gupta (SSS), BCIC Teacher Award; Jessica Broder (KVR), B.C. Science Teachers’ Award.



Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read