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COLUMN: Ready to rumble for science

Call it what you will, but I always find it downright exhilarating to talk with any of the teachers or students at Victor Sammurtok School (VSS) in Chesterfield Inlet about the science fair at their school and, of course, the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair.
I find it totally uplifting that the students of this little school, in a tiny Kivalliq community, have, for all intents and purposes, made the science fair their school rallying cry and, year after year, the VSS students come to the regional science fair totally ready to rumble – scientifically speaking, of course.

And, as much as the other students at the regional competition are often friends from the science fair or the science cultural camp from the previous year (the two flagship projects of the Kivalliq Science Educators’ Community) – the qualifying students from VSS come to the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair ready to kick some scientific butt – be that friend or foe – and punch their ticket to represent our region at the national Canada-wide Science Fair competition.

Now there are schools all across Canada known for something their students excel at, and they continually defy the odds on an almost annual basis to keep that specialty in the grand domain of their school.

But when you look at the regional science-fair success of VSS students during the past 10 to 15 years and factor in the number of students who attend senior high science classes in communities such as Arviat, Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet, for example, you quickly realize just how high the odds would be for the VSS students to win on an almost annual basis – but they do.

And the reasons behind much of that success is their teachers at VSS also buy into the mantle of science fair success and go the extra mile if needed, to ensure their students are as prepared as possible for the regional competition.

And, of course, when one looks at the student roster at VSS, one can’t help but notice the same family names popping up again and again, and that is where one of the true strengths of VSS’s continued success at the regional science fair resides.

It is, in fact, the VSS lineage of high achievers.

If you want to experiment with sibling rivalry gone wild, you just may want to start researching the community of Chesterfield Inlet and its long line of family successes at the science fair.

If you find yourself the third-oldest in a family of two previous science fair winners, I dare say you’d be ready to go all out to try and make sure that line of success doesn’t stop at the toe of your boots.

Whatever the combined reasons for VSS’s success at the regional fair, I truly hope that success continues for the tiny school that roars come science time.

And one thing I do know, any school that plans to knock VSS off of its science perch in any given year had better come to the fair ready to rumble with all it’s got – scientifically speaking, of course.