By: Irek Kusmierczyk
Three Windsor students competing in the Canada Wide Science Fair and mentored by WEtech Alliance took home medals, awards and scholarship offers valued at over $45,000 this month.
Meagan Fabel (Grade 11, Walkerville), Alexander Deans (Grade 10, Academie Ste. Cecile International) and Abhi Gupta (Grade 8, F.W. Begley) travelled to Lethbridge, Alberta for the finals.
All three students were finalists in the Windsor Regional Science, Technology and Engineering Fair (WRSTEF) held at St. Clair College in April.
Fabel’s project, examining ways to increase electrical energy production from Gratzel cells, received a Gold Medal, the Manning Innovation Achievement Award, and the Renewable Energy Award sponsored by the Ontario Power Generation.
Deans received a Gold Medal, an Innovation Award sponsored by Blackberry, and a S.M. Blair Family Foundation Award for developing a navigation device for the visually impaired using multimodal feedback.
Gupta, the youngest contestant from the region, developed solar panels that track the movement of the sun thereby maximizing the amount of solar energy that is developed. He received a Renewable Energy Award, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, and a Bronze Medal sponsored by Youth Science Canada.
“These are the kinds of inquisitive, daring young minds that spur innovation and spawn whole new industries,” says Karen Behune Plunkett, President and CEO of WEtech. “It’s why WEtech proudly supports this program.”
Before flying out to Lethbridge, Alberta for the nationals, WEtech Alliance organized a Practice-Your-Pitch session for the three finalists at the Downtown Business Accelerator.
WEtech’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Deborah Livneh and Rob Whent used their engineering background and entrepreneurial experience to coach the students on their delivery.
It is the second year in a row that WEtech has sponsored the regional science fair and organized a Practice-Your-Pitch session.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand,” says Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk, organizer of the sessions. “The next step we want these budding scientists to think about is commercialization.”
Behune Plunkett says that WEtech is excited about Windsor hosting the Canada Wide Science Fair at the University of Windsor next year.
“Hundreds of the brightest science students will descend upon Windsor,” says Behune Plunkett. “It’s an opportunity to showcase and accelerate our region’s technology and innovation sector.”
WEtech Mentors Science and Innovation Stars
By: Irek Kusmierczyk