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The science of the Prince Albert region has been tested on a national stage

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Students excited to represent Saskatchewan in Ottawa at the National Science Fair.

PRINCE ALBERT – Two students from across Prince Albert will travel to Ottawa for the Canada-wide Science Fair in late May after earning their place in the Prince Albert and NE Regional Science Fair.

The science fair was held at the Prince Albert Science Center at Gateway Mall on April 9, but organizers were unable to announce the winners until Monday when seventh-graders Daisy Flying Buffalo from West Central School and Mason Golding from Red Wing School learned they would be traveling to Ottawa. .

It's called the Flying Buffalo project Mind Matters: Education through digital games. It is submitted under the Life and Earth Sciences category. Finishing first was special, he said.

“It means a lot. I feel like I can make a difference in people's mental health,” Flying Buffalo said.

The Flying Buffalo Project takes users through a process to work on their mental health. I created a game called Mind Matters to help users learn how to maintain their mental health.

“When you first walk in, there's a chicken and you can tap on numbers and it says facts. Also, if you tap on it, it makes sounds like birds,” she explained.

“Then if you press M, it takes you to the mood meter and there you can move around to determine your mood. If you press H, you can read unhealthy coping skills and healthy coping skills.”

Flying Buffalo said she was very excited to go to Ottawa. This was her first time working in programming, and she said doing the project taught her a lot about the practice.

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“I put it on Scratch, so it was pretty easy because the programming blocks are there and stuff,” she explained.

Scratch is the world's largest children's programming community and a programming language with a simple visual interface that allows young people to create digital stories, games, and animations.

The Prince Albert and NE Regional Science Fair also submitted the name Flying Buffalo to the Sanofli Biogenius Canada competition. The Sanofli Biogenius Canada Competition will be hosted in partnership with Youth Canada Science as part of the provincial and Canada-wide Science Fairs (CWSF).

This competition focuses on recognizing and celebrating the best research projects from across the country with a focus on health sciences, life sciences, and biotechnology. There are three age groups – young, middle and old. At the CWSF, winners of this special award can receive up to $1,000.

It's called the Daycee Golding Project Hydraulic jack. It was submitted under the Mathematics and Engineering Sciences category.

Golding was happy with the second-place finish and advancing to the national event.

“This really excited me,” he said. “I wasn't expecting that. It was definitely a nice surprise and it was great.”

Golding said the idea for the project came from a long-standing passion. He has always been interested in cranes since he was a little boy playing with toy versions of the machines. He really wanted to know how crane hydraulics worked, and used that as inspiration for his project.

“I learned a lot about how hydraulics work, and it really surprised me because I knew nothing about them before,” he said.

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Like Flying Buffalo, Golding is thrilled about applying to Ottawa.

“I'm very excited,” he said.

In preparation for the Canada-wide Science Fair, both students will work hard to improve their projects and meet deadlines.

There were 50 entries at this year's Regional Science Fair. Representatives were from rural Saskatchewan Rivers schools but organizers would like anyone to attend including Saskatchewan Rivers City Schools, Prince Albert Catholic Schools and North Eastern School Division schools, all of which are eligible in the entrance area.

Prince Albert and the NE Regional Science Fair continue fundraising to send these two deserving recipients and one companion to the CWSF.

The Canada-wide Science Fair, the country's largest annual science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth event, will be held May 25 to June 1 in Ottawa.

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