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Regional fair puts spotlight on science

Brothers Johnathan and William Campbell of John Arnalukjuak High School in Arviat captured the top two spots at the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair held in Rankin Inlet from March 2 to 4.

Johnathan finished first overall with his work on creating soil with natural items found in the Arctic to grow zucchini, carrots and radishes, while William took second for his experiments using the igloo's cold-air-trap design in modern buildings to save on fuel usage and heating costs.

Grade 7 student Johnathan Campbell of Arviat accepts the coveted science hardware from Mathew Thompson, left, and Kristin Harding for taking top spot at the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair in Rankin Inlet on March 4. photo courtesy Matt Thompson

Victor Sammurtok School's (VSS) Barbera Kadjuk of Chesterfield Inlet took third place for her project investigating the changes in blood pressure and body temperature brought on by eating traditional food.

The top three finishers will now advance to the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa, Ont., which will take place from May 12 to 19.

A total of 17 projects were entered into this year's regional fair, which marked the 16th regional fair for VSS teacher Glen Brocklebank. It was also the first time Brocklebank was named head judge for the event.

I had never been a head judge before and I now have a great deal of respect for the job Jim Kreuger did in that role because it would take me all day to do what he did in an afternoon,” he said.

Brocklebank said he was a little nervous going into the fair because not all seven Kivalliq communities were represented this year, and he worried that this might lower the overall quality of the projects being entered.

He needn't have worried, he said.

The top projects really stood out this year and were very well done, as they are most years,” he said. “They were very creative ideas.”

A highlight were the seven junior-level projects entered, he said, where students surveyed up to 100 people for the projects.

Brocklebank said a friendly rivalry has emerged between Arviat and Chesterfield as last year Arviat and Chesterfield tied for first, while this year Arviat finished first and second and Chesterfield finished third said.

He also had kind words for the other judges.

The entire fair, and all the workshops, were really well done,” he said. “But I was most impressed with the people they picked to judge from Arctic College, the other two schools and the community who had a lot of wonderful things to say about the kids' projects and did an absolutely great job overall.”