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Annual regional science expo is held in Whitehorse

Students from across Yukon and Stikine region of B.C. gethered to present their projects

The annual Yukon/Stikine Regional Science Fair/S.T.E.M. Expo was held at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre in Whitehorse on April 6.

The event, which has been held for three decades, brings students from across the Yukon and Stikine region of British Columbia together to present projects that highlight problem solving, using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The event featured 37 projects from students in Grades 4 to 12, representing 47 schools throughout the region. Students who couldn’t make it to Whitehorse presented their projects over Zoom.

Students from Grades 7 to 12 competed for the chance to move on to the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Edmonton, Alta. with three students from Whitehorse schools set to move on to the national competition scheduled from May 13 to 20. They are Evan Howells, a Grade 11 student at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Secondary School and two Grade 7 students at Jack Hulland Elementary School, Hanna Ryan and Vada Kireti.

Howells presented a project on flight of the bumble bee, exploring the foraging patterns of native bumble bees in the Southern Lakes region of the Yukon. Howells won the B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom Award, which goes to an outstanding project that shows the practical application of scientific principles to agriculture. Howells also won the Commissioner’s Best in Fair Award.

Ryan won her spot at the national competition for her project titled: “What’s the best way to dry your hands?”

And Kireti was selected for her project titled: “No Sugar? No Problem.”

Looking past high school graduation, the three students can also receive the Yukon University Canada-Wide Science Fair Scholarship, given to students chosen to represent Yukon-Stikine at the Canada-Wide Science Fair should they choose to pursue post-secondary education at Yukon University.

The scholarship covers up to $3,500 in tuition for a student who is registered in a full-time undergraduate, trades or vocational program at the university within two years of graduating high school.

Yukon University president Lesley Brown presented the award to the students.

Ryan Sikkes, a volunteer of the Yukon/Stikine Regional Science Fair Society, said the society exists to promote youth engagement in scientific pursuits.

“Students can see themselves even as young as they are, as being scientists and people who can take a systematic and methodical approach to looking at problems and finding innovative solutions,” he said. “The enthusiasm and excitement communicating the scientific concepts that they explored in their projects was top notch.”

Sikkes said this year’s edition of the event was renamed to include the S.T.E.M. Expo to “reflect a kind of broadened understanding to solve problems scientifically.”

He added: “We look at broader technological and engineering and mathematical approaches to solving problems. And something we are excited to highlight is that we recognize and appreciate the Indigenous world views that inform traditional or ecological knowledge or science done for thousands of years by Indigenous people. We welcome and honour projects done in those ways.”

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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