Top High School Students Represent Canada at ISEF

Sat, 2017-05-13 18:00 -- Reni Barlow

Seven high school students from across Canada will head to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, CA, from May 14-19, 2017.

Canadian students have won the first place prize for the past two years, and this year’s students are looking to make it a three-peat. 2015’s Raymond Wang from Vancouver and 2016’s Austin Wang of Vancouver received the top Gordon E. Moore Award, a US$75,000 prize named in honour of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist. In the last two years, Team Canada has won a total of 50 ISEF awards and this year they are hoping to add to this incredible legacy.

Team Canada students include:

  • Elias Andersen, Meaford, ON: developed an electronic baseball umpire, using microphones and sound triangulation technology to pinpoint the exact location of the baseball and the runner, determining whether the runner was “safe” or “out”. The electronic umpire program is 99% accurate, compared to 84% accuracy seen in traditional umpires.
  • Harkirat Bhullar, Saskatoon, SK: invented a computer algorithm that uses behavioural and biological data to give 99% accuracy when diagnosing Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This deep diagnosis tool is the first to exploit information from two different domains (phenotypic and genetic) to predict ASD and has the potential to assist physicians for earlier and more reliable diagnosis.
  • Marcus Deans, Windsor, ON: returning to the team from 2016, Marcus has developed a method to identify potential inhibitors for Zika Virus, which has over 100,000 confirmed cases worldwide. Using this method, he narrowed down three potential inhibitors that can be further tested for viability to eliminate the disease.
  • Adam Martinez, Conestogo, ON: explored the antibacterial properties of ionic silver, which is a popular antibacterial agent. Adam found that ionic silver actually increases the growth of ionic silver-resistant bacteria by a statistically significant amount, raising important environment and health concerns.
  • Lucas Penny, Grimsby, ON: developed a diagnostic device that detects breast cancer microRNAs in saliva. This device is quicker and more low-cost than current diagnostic tools and allows for earlier detection of breast cancer, which can increase survival outcomes.
  • Melody Song, Saskatoon, SK: the faba bean is an ancient legume species know for excellent nutritional benefits, however, more than 400 million people worldwide cannot consume faba beans due to a disease called favism which prevents the breakdown of vicineconcicine (VC) resulting in anemia or even death. Melody developed a molecular marker to detect faba beans with low VC, which can be used for large-scale efficient VC level detection in faba beans and could result in accelerated low VC faba bean breeding.
  • Kayley Ting, Richmond Hill, ON: explored skin-resistance reading to indicate the onset of sensory meltdown in individuals with autism, to offer insight into their cause, and to evaluate recovery methods. Kayley found higher frequencies in SRL readings indicated mounting stress levels while decreasing frequencies indicated general recovery. Results may contribute to more individualized approaches to Applied Behaviour Analysis and a stronger understanding of sensory processing disorder as it applies to the individual.


Intel Canada is committed to celebrating students who are a driving force behind the future of Canada as a competitive, innovative and prosperous country. Intel-ISEF serves as an important channel for these young role models to demonstrate that their projects in science, technology, engineering, and math have the potential to change the world.