It came down to the final two award presentations, but young Canadians won two of the three First Place Awards at this year's European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Dublin, Ireland.
Brendon Matusch (15) of Sudbury, Ontario (left in photo) and Nicolas Fedrigo (17) of Victoria, British Columbia (right in photo) made EUCYS history in that moment as Canada became the first non-EU country to win two of the three First Place Awards. The last country to achieve the feat was Portugal in 2014.
"After the Third Prize Awards had been announced, I figured we hadn't won anything." Nicolas remarked after the ceremony. "I can't believe it... I was not expecting this at all." noted Brendon during an interview.
Brendon built a self-driving electric go-kart, including developing the software required to find the centre of the road and steer to remain there, recognize and stop at stop signs - and learn to perform better as it drives. He won the Best Project Award at the 2018 Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) in Ottawa in May. A summary of his project is available for download here.
Nicolas developed an improved version of the awl-like tool surgeons use to create screw holes in vertebrae during spinal fusion surgery. His version vibrates and lights an LED when it's pressed against cortical bone, indicating that it's in a location that could result in spinal cord damage or other complications. He won the Best Senior Project Award at CWSF 2018 in Ottawa. Download a summary of his project here.
Reni Barlow, executive director of Youth Science Canada (YSC), says, "It doesn't get any better than this. Young Canadians have remarkable ideas that are among the best in the world and we challenge them to transform those ideas into STEM projects. YSC has a great system for identifying and developing the country’s most promising young scientists, engineers, and innovators.”
Canada's participation in EUCYS 2018 was generously supported by Youth Can Innovate, an initiative of the Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation.
The European Union Contest for Young Scientists is the STEM project championships for the European Union (EU). This year’s contest gathered 138 top young scientists with 90 projects from 38 EU, associated and guest countries in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to Canada, guest countries included China, Egypt, South Korea, Tunisia and the USA. All EUCYS participants previously won the national science competition in their respective home countries.
EUCYS 2019 will be held next September in Sofia, Bulgaria. Canada will be represented by the top award winners from CWSF 2019, to be held next May in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
A full list of EUCYS 2018 award winners can be found on their website.
Media: Contact Youth Science Canada at 866-341-0040 or [email protected]