Canadian Youth Impress on the World STEM Stage

Wed, 2017-09-27 00:00 -- Alisha Bainbridge


Canada once again showed its leadership in youth science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Team Canada received top honours at the 2017 European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Tallinn, Estonia.

Danish Mahmood (right, in photo), a grade 9 student from London, Ontario, won one of the 7,000 Euro First Prize Awards awarded to the top three projects. Colette Benko (centre, in photo), a grade 12 student from Calgary, Alberta, took home one of three 5,000 Euro Second Prize Awards.

Mahmood developed W.I.N.I.T.S. (Wireless Interconnected Non-Invasive Triage System), a low-cost system to measure and communicate vital signs wirelessly from a clip-on finger device, simplifying the process of monitoring patients. His innovation has the potential to aid first responders and hospitals by streamlining patient assessment.

Benko identified a new use for an existing drug to effectively treat Neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer. Her research and findings have the possibility to lead to a more targeted approach to chemotherapy with fewer side effects.

Reni Barlow, executive director of Youth Science Canada (YSC), says, “This is the best result achieved by Team Canada in eight years of EUCYS participation. Canadian teens have remarkable ideas that are among the best in the world. YSC has a great system for identifying and developing the country’s most promising young scientists, engineers, and innovators.”

Team Canada returns home Wednesday, September 27, after five days of presenting their projects to international judges, networking with young scientists from around the world, and exploring the beautiful city of Tallinn. First Prize winner, Danish Mahmood says, “EUCYS was an incredible opportunity to share my work with others from across Europe and around the world. It was amazing to receive recognition at this high level.”

The European Union Contest for Young Scientists is the science fair championships for the European Union (EU). This year’s contest gathered the top young scientists, from 41 countries, in Tallinn, Estonia. Participating countries included 24 EU countries, 10 associated countries and seven guest countries including Canada.

A full list of EUCYS award winners can be found on their website