South Surrey students take science challenge

Earl Marriott Secondary's junior team placed fourth in the 10th annual Kwantlen Science Challenge.

South Surrey students were among hundreds to square off in the sciences at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s 10th annual Kwantlen Science Challenge.

Held in Richmond on Nov. 28, the day-long event challenged teams of junior and senior students to five hour-long, hands-on activities in biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, engineering design, mathematics and physics.

Earl Marriott Secondary’s junior team placed fourth, behind Burnaby North (third) and Coquitlam’s Centennial (second). Surrey’s Fleetwood Park notched the win; Fraser Heights students placed fifth.

The challenges tested students in use of data, experimenting with proper technique and solving design problems – including coming up with a bottle rocket system that maximized the time the rocket was in the air.

KPU’s annual Kwantlen Science Challenge was developed for young people in science to showcase how science works, who scientists are, the kinds of work they do and why science matters in everyday life.

Don Mathewson, a KPU physics instructor and Kwantlen Science Challenge organizer, said the event “is about making science fun and exciting, and inspiring high school students to pursue an education and career in science.”

Semiahmoo Secondary physics teacher Louay El Halabi said it offers students “the opportunity to take risks, push the boundaries of their knowledge and actually put that knowledge to the test.”

“It’s always wonderful to see how my students come together as a team through the pre-build beforehand and on event day during the lab and jeopardy competition,” El Halabi said in a news release.

“The opportunity for them to be a part of a competition involving top students from around the province is always an eye-opening experience for them, and they often leave with a sense of accomplishment and pride regardless of their final standing.”