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UNB Welcomes the Canada-Wide Science Fair

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on May 15, 2019

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB

On May 11, the University of New Brunswick opened its doors to nearly 500 regional science fair finalists from across country. Students between the ages of 12-17 are competing for close to $1 million in cash prizes and university scholarships at the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF).

For some finalists, it is long road to the CWSF as some students spend years developing their projects, while some finalists develop a passion project by observing everyday life around them. A select few former CWSF finalists, like UNB student Jackson Weir, are given the chance to participate as a CWSF Ambassador.

“It is quite suiting that my path takes me back to the week that truly changed my life a year prior,” says Mr. Weir. “I hope to give someone else the opportunity at CWSF 2019 to discover how rewarding the STEM fields can be and instill the power of curiosity of our amazingly complex world.”

In Grade 12, a passion project for his advanced placement course, AP Research, lead him to CWSF 2018 where he was awarded New Brunswick’s first Senior Gold Medal and the Senior Environment Challenge Award.

For more than 15 years, Science East has run the New Brunswick provincial science fair program and has mentored Team New Brunswick at every CWSF since 2004.

“We first met Jackson at the beginning of his CWSF 2018 journey,” says Dr. C. David Desjardins, co-chair for CWSF 2019 and CEO of Science East. “Jackson’s success is a direct result of how natural curiosity and passion are the best motivators to accomplish impressive outcomes at any stage of life.”

Mr. Weir’s research paper, Experimental Analysis of Environmental Factors: Surface Spread of Oil on Water, was never intended as a science fair project. With the encouragement and guidance from his teachers at St. Malachy’s Memorial High School, he entered the Fundy Regional Science Fair. As the regional grand prize winner, Mr. Weir was invited to participate in CWSF 2018, and ultimately selected to present his project at the Prime Minister’s Science Fair in September 2018.

Mr. Weir’s journey has come full circle as he returns as a CWSF 2019 Ambassador. In this role, he advises finalists to focus on the experiences and relationships formed during the week of CWSF. He says that meeting inspirational students from across Canada working to solve the most pressing issues in our world today during CWSF 2018 was an invaluable and memorable experience.

Mr. Weir continues to promote science and innovation within his local community. He will co-chair TEDxUNB 2020, a conference designed to inspire and facilitate change by engaging the brightest minds at UNB. He is the junior editor-in-chief at the Atlantic Student Research Journal, a student-led initiative aiming to facilitate knowledge translation and develop the student-scientist network while supporting local research. Mr. Weir is also the co-founder of Ponder, a peer discussion club at UNB that encourages the exploration of complex and controversial topics in today’s society.

Mr. Weir will spend his summer assisting in multiple myeloma cancer research at the Dalhousie Medical New Brunswick Lab housed on the UNB Saint John campus.

Media contact: Paisley Sibbald

Photo credit: Joy Cummings/UNB Photo