Judges needed for Canada-Wide Science Fair

By Costa Maragos Posted: February 23, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Some of the students' projects have been published in scientific journals. Qualified judges are needed for the Canada-Wide Science  Fair, held at the U of R May 14 – 20.
Some of the students' projects have been published in scientific journals. Qualified judges are needed for the Canada-Wide Science Fair, held at the U of R May 14 – 20. Photo courtesy of CWSF

Canada’s brightest, budding scientists are coming to Regina this spring as the U of R hosts the Canada-Wide Science Fair, May 14 to 20.

Getting the students to come is no problem – but organizers say they need many more judges, including those who can speak French.

The science fair is desperately short of qualified people who have the credentials to judge some amazing science.

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Science fair students represent among the brightest in the country. “These are not paper maché volcano projects. We need judges with serious scientific credentials,” – Dr. Mark Brigham
“We are so grateful for those who have signed up, but we need many, many more people to step up and volunteer,” says Dr. Mark Brigham, professor in the department of biology and a member of the U of R judging team. “We’re looking for judges from around Regina, Saskatchewan and from across Canada – including French-speaking scientists.”

There is a need for at least 350 judges. Organizers say they are short about 150 judges. A wide range of disciplines are welcome including dentists, engineers, university and college faculty, medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, scientists from industry and government labs and others.

“These are not paper maché volcano projects. We need people with serious scientific credentials,” says Brigham.

The recruiting team is made up of Brigham as well as Dr. Robin Evans, associate dean in the faculty of nursing and Dr. Pierre-Philippe Ouimet, lecturer in the physics department.

Judges from out of town are provided with accommodation at the U of R’s brand new residences.
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The Canada-Wide Science Fair will attract about 500 student scientists to the campus.

But the big pitch for judges is the experience of meeting some of the brightest young scientists in Canada.

Brigham, Evans and Ouimet have all judged at this national science fair.  

“I’ve seen students walk out of such science fairs with patents. Others have walked out and started their own companies with their science fair innovations,” says Ouimet.

 That’s not all.

“There was a high school kid who came up with the beginning of the framework for a new drug for non-small cell lung cancer,” says Evans.

Judges have assessed projects that have been published in some prestigious journals including Nature.

“There was a science fair project last year where students used satellite imagery to detect Mayan ruins,” says Brigham.

Here’s another incentive to come out and judge and that is the camaraderie with fellow judges.

“That’s a huge appeal, just meeting other judges and learning from them,” says Brigham. “I met one judge who was involved with putting experiments on the Space Shuttle.”

If you feel you have the right stuff to judge the next generation of brilliant young scientists, we’d love to hear from you.

Please contact Mark Brigham at mark.brigham@uregina.ca, Robin Evans at robin.evans@uregina.ca or Pierre-Philippe Ouimet at pierre-philippe.ouimet@uregina.ca.

Please visit here for more information on how you can become a judge at the Science Fair.

Here is more information on the Fair. The University of Regina is proud to be a sponsor. We’re looking forward to welcoming everybody to our campus May 14 to 20.