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Getting down with science

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Science lovers in Rankin Inlet were treated to a day of scientific wonders this past week.

NNSL photo/graphic

David Kabluitok takes flight from a duct-tape bridge as Issaluk Tattuinee and Reuben Aliyak, right, steady the contraption. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

There was plenty to see at Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik's annual science fair, with numerous topnotch projects on display and science shows staged in the afternoon and evening.

Hope Makpah took first place overall with her project, Death Rates in Nunavut, while second place went to Tatonya Autut and Chelsea Sammurtok for their effort, Fur: Keeping the Heat.

Third place went to the team of Katherine Rudd and Desiree Autut (Brain Neuroplasticity in Adolescents with Neurofibromatosis), while fourth was taken by Keisha Aliyak and Lukisha Tatty (Wii Fit Challenge: The Effects of Caffeine on Balance) and fifth went to Arthur Tatty and Jon Maktar (Bacteria on Meat).

The top five finishers will compete in the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair from March 16-19, for a chance to represent the Kivalliq at the CanadaWide Science Fair later in the year.

Other awards presented were Northern Relevancy (Tatonya Autut and Sammurtok), People's Choice (Evelyn Autut and Joanna Anawak for Static Electricity), and Community Relevancy (Germaine Aliyak and James Duncan for Rusty Nails).

Science teacher Katharine O'Connell said classes from grades 7 to 11 took part in this year's event.

She said junior high students stepped up their efforts this year, and many of their projects scored well with the judges.

"Having some of our junior students advance to the regional is exciting, and a big difference from the results we saw during the past few years," said O'Connell.

"We had the biggest turnout for the evening viewing that I remember at the fair.

"Quite a few students came in the evening and that's good to see.

"They're all really into the science show and everyone wants to volunteer for the various experiments."

A number of junior high awards were presented to recognize the efforts of those students, and to encourage them to maintain that level of participation in the future.

Tatonya Autut and Sammurtok won first for Junior Scientific Innovation, while the team of Uswa Zeb and Nicole Ymana took first in Junior Bridges (How Strong is a Truss Bridge?), and Arthur Tatty and Jon Maktar returned to the winner's circle to accept first in the Junior Bacteria category.

O'Connell said 100 projects were entered in MUI's 2011 science fair.

She said every student in grades 7 to 9 took part in the event.

"We also had two Grade 10 classes and one Grade 11 class participate, so overall it went really well."

"All the teachers did a great job preparing the students, and everyone got a well-deserved round of applause during the presentation of the awards at our assembly this past Friday."

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