/ - Science Fair Foundation British Columbia

Join our host Michael Unger as we uncover the passion behind great ideas, meet STEAM thought leaders and talk with young people working on inspiring innovations.

 

Season 1

In our first season of Let's Innovate!, we talk to youth and industry leaders from across BC and the Yukon about their experiences, experiments, and inspiration in STEM. Meet finalists from the 2021 Youth Innovation Showcase, young inventors and entrepreneurs forging a new path in industry, and experts in coding, science communication, and more!



Season 1: Episode 101: Meet Braxton Chan

Braxton Chan developed an innovative treatment for osteochondral defects using fibrocartilage transplantation and the 16-year-old from Cranbrook, BC was a finalist in the 2020 Youth Innovation Showcase. We learn how he came up with his idea and what he's been up to since the competition.



Season 1: Episode 102: Meet Manisha Narula

Manisha is a social innovator with experience in education, youth empowerment and community engagement. As the current Director of Community at League of Innovators, Manisha is working on mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators and developing a culture of youth entrepreneurship across Canada. Manisha speaks with Michael about what inspires her and why it's important to her to help other young innovators. 



Season 1: Episode 103: Meet Norbert Banyi

After watching bronchoscopy procedures, 19-year-old UBC student Norbert Banyi saw that nurses would perform a jaw-thrust maneuver throughout the procedure. He realized there was a greater need for mechanical jaw-thrust devices which could optimize those procedures, freeing up medical hands to redistribute resources. Host Michael Unger finds out about Norbert's innovation process and what he's up to now.
   



Season 1: Episode 104: Meet Jahan Gill

For their YIS submission, Jahan Gill and Patrick Cioata designed a clever solution: a fully biodegradable, 3D-printed pencil. Their pencil takes a mere 2 years to biodegrade, compared to regular one which takes 200 years. With all that waste being saved, you could build 4000 houses and 55 cars. Their solution is also cheaper and easier to produce than ones that involve a spring mechanism.

Host Michael Unger speaks to Jahan about how they came up with their design and what inspired it! 

 



Season 1: Episode 105: Meet Marco Pasqua

When Marco lost his job in 2017, it turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise. He is an advocate for people with disabilities in the workplace and founder of the CUBE Principle for networking. Hear how he got advice on branding from Gene Simmons and his tips for networking virtually during Covid! 

  

Season 1: Episode 106: Meet Patrick Cioata

For his project - a biodegradable mechanical pencil - Patrick Cioata took an everyday problem and looked at how one small impact can drastically change the amount of waste produced. It's that kind of thinking that helps young innovators make an impact! Listen to what inspired him and what helps a innovation team find success! 

 


Season 1: Episode 107: Meet Cameron Beck

Learn about block coding and how it crosses language barriers and hear how Cameron Beck, Community Developer at Kids Code Jeunesse, got into coding from video games as well as what you can expect from his upcoming Feb. 24 workshop as part of the Youth Innovation Showcase! 
   


Season 1: Episode 108: Meet Carin Bondar

Michael speaks with biologist and professor Dr. Carin Bondar. Bondar’s work appears on National Geographic, TED, Animal Planet, Netflix and The Science Channel.  She is an adventurer and explorer, having discovered 11 new species of beetles and snails in the remote jungles of Borneo. Hear about what inspired her to pursue science and how she sees art and science interact! 
   


Season 1: Episode 109: Meet Madeleine Guenette

On International Women's Day, Michael interviews Science Fair Foundation BC's Executive Director Madeleine Guenette and learns what she was like in high school, how important self-confidence is in life, and why she calls herself a science fair "lifer." She also gives her advice for young women in STEM and business! 
   


Season 1: Episode 110: Meet Emily Avrill

Founder of Emcologique and 2020 Youth Innovation Showcase finalist Emily Averill speaks with host Michael Unger about what prompted her to create an online education resource for youth exploring the outdoors. Learn about her love for "creepy crawlies" and #campvibes as well as what the innovation process was like and how she's changed her prototype over the past year in response to new information and new demands.  
 


Season 1: Episode 111: Meet Bruce Porter

Hear all about how "addictive" science fairs can be! 

Host Michael Unger talks to Yukon-based scientist Bruce Porter about his science fair project studying how to stop micro plastics from invading the environment as well as the work he's done around pristine waters. 

Learn why "It's hard to educate people about something that they can't see." Porter talks about how and why it's important to get buy-in from others to help push a project forward. 
   


Season 1: Episode 112: Meet Milo Eirew

Host Michael Unger speaks with young innovator Milo Eirew about his project The Sound Compass - a tool for deaf drivers to alert them to oncoming emergency vehicles. 

He explains the physics of sound with regards to his work and how he's incorporating machine learning sound recognition into the innovation. 

Also - hear about some of his past projects, including extracting DNA from a strawberry and the Cardio Cardigan - a lifesaving wearable robotic device. 

   


Season 1: Episode 113: Meet Leah Coss

Leah Coss is on a mission to change the way we value and educate people in society - after being what she calls "being a really confused kid putting up a really good front." 

She talks with host Michael Unger about how she dealt with school that sometimes felt like a battleground, how being called a "natural" can sometimes hamper growth, why she's named her alter ego Francine and how young people can 'future-proof' themselves for a world filled with AI. 

Coss is the Founder & Co-Founder of growing organizations such as Build a Biz Kids, BBK Network, The Fuel Academy & Your Current Future.

   


Season 1: Episode 114: Meet Timothy Cai

Host Michael Unger speaks with Youth Innovation Showcase finalist and Canada Wide Science Fair student Timothy Cai about his reusable & biodegradable mask innovation.  

When faced with Covid, Cai thought that there was not anything he could do about the virus itself but he could engineer a better mask, which is what spurred his initial innovation. 

Learn how not doing well at an earlier competition helped him pivot and improve his design. 
 
   


Season 1: Episode 115: Meet Kristina Garagan

Youth Innovation Showcase finalist Kristina Garagan  talks with host Michael Unger about her project The Frilled Explorer Drone - how she got interested in Mars in the first place and the benefits she found from participating in the showcase and science fairs. 

 


Season 1: Episode 116: Meet Keanu Chan

Youth Innovation Showcase finalist Keanu Chan. The 14-year old from Cranbrook, BC created an innovation called Novel universal Design Internal Spine Concept (NuDISC) intended to create an alternative that would substitute discs in the spine. 

"I don't want to just keep on using something that's difficult and not practical," says Chan on what spurs him to innovate. 

Hear about Chan's next steps in obtaining a patent and bringing his project into the real world. He says the Youth Innovation Showcase helps him meet different people and talk to different people that help him advance his project.

 


Season 1: Episode 117: Meet Jessica Tang

Learn about Youth Innovation Showcase finalist Jessica Tang's innovation: an AI controller that helps regulate water and carbon levels for indoor farming. Hear what sparked her interest in AI in the first place and why AI can be so much more efficient and adaptable than hard coding. 

 


Season 1: Episode 118: Meet Dianna Hu

Youth Innovation Showcase  2021 finalist Dianna Hu talks to host Michael Unger about her self-watering plant pot innovation, what it was like taking part in the Youth Innovation Showcase and what she's up to now! 

 


Season 1: Episode 119: Meet Hayden Persad

Hayden, a student from Prince Charles Secondary School in West Kootenay, said he was inspired to make his innovation, the Pathogen Barrier Device, when he learned that bystanders and rescuers were not doing CPR because they worried they would get COVID-19. “I hope my innovation can ensure no cardiac arrest victim dies from lack of bystander CPR,” he said. Listen to him talk with host Michael Unger about his inspiration and what's next for him.

   


Season 1: Episode 120: Meet Nathan Yeung

Youth Innovation Showcase finalist Nathan Yeung speaks with host Michael Unger about his project:  Hyperfocus – A New Kind of Timer. Learn what inspired his innovation, how working on it during Covid, a time when many of us are struggling to keep focused, influenced the development. Yeung also shares what's next for him when it comes to innovation! 
     
 

Season 1: Episode 121: Meet Sathvik Vinnakota

Our host, Michael Unger, speaks with Grade 8 student Sathvik Vinnakota from the Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL). Inspired from a real life social distancing mishap, he was inspired to create the Kangaroo Distance Pouch. Sathvik also discusses his experience at SAIL where he is a part of the STEAMX program, his aspirations to become a biomedical engineer and also his love for public speaking!

     
 

Season 1: Episode 122: Meet Taya Lee

Today, we have the 2021 winner of  Youth Innovation Showcase in the 16-19 age group Taya Lee!

Taya talks about her environmentally friendly innovation that helps recycle oil from contaminated water. Using Azolla filiculoides to absorb oil from water, she was able to create a biodiesel blend.

Michael and Taya also discuss her inspiration behind the innovation and also the step-by-step process she went through to complete her winning project.

   

 

Season 2

In season 2 of Let's Innovate! meet science fair alumni who are now up to some pretty cool things in the work world! Learn what inspired them then and what continues to drive them now. These innovators share how their experience in past science fairs and STEM competitions has helped them both in their career paths and in navigating the world.


Season 2: Episode 201: Meet Jordan Chin

Michael kicks off Season 2 talking with Jordan Chin, a former Science Fair Foundation participant! Jordan discuses his experiences taking part in two science fairs and how he came up with a different approach for each go. He then talks to us about working for Amazon for 6 years and why he decided he wanted to go back to school. To end off, Michael and Jordan engage in some rapid fire fun!



Season 2: Episode 202: Meet Michael Ruiz-Peters

We have double the Michaels on this one! Our host, Michael Unger talks with Michael Ruiz-Peters, who last participated in Science Fairs in 2010. Michael talks about his early journey in Science Fairs and how his grandmother was his inspiration for his invention that eventually led to the career path he is on today. He also explains how over time, competition has become less important to him and is now more interested in collaboration.

 

Season 2: Episode 203: Meet Keltie Murdoch

On this episode, Michael is joined by Cranbrook, BC's own, Keltie Murdoch! Keltie talks to us about her experience competing in 5 Canada wide science fairs as well as international competitions in Taiwan. She also tells us about his favourite invention, a geothermal heating system which still has some traction to this day. The two end off in some rapid-fire fun!

 

Season 2: Episode 204: Meet Shazeen Suleman

Shazeen Suleman, pediatrician from St. Michael's Hospital and former Science Fair Foundation alumni joins us today on Let's Innovate! She talks about her Science Fair Foundation project that took her to the Canada Wide competition and how impactful he time was in science fairs. Later Michael and Shazeen engage in some rapid-fire fun!

 

Season 2: Episode 205: Meet Laurel Stothers

Laurel talks about her experiences competing at Science Fair and her project which consisted of self assembly by lateral capillary forces. Inspired by BBC's Planet Earth, she started her project using just water, bolts and a lasagna pan. Laurel tells us why Fredric Edwin Church's 'The Heart of Andes' was a huge inspiration to her love of art and science. 



Season 2: Episode 206: Meet Jessica Zhang

Let's meet Science Fair alumni and two-time Canada-Wide Science Fair participant, Jessica Zhang! Introduced to SFF in her biology class in 2008, Jessica's first project on recycling unrecyclable plastic led her to a journey in microbiology and immunology. Michael and Jessica talk Harry Potter and the parallels between science and the famous book series.



Season 2: Episode 207: Meet Churmy Fan

Research Assistant from The University of Calgary, Churmy Fan joins Michael to talk everything from Science Fairs to her dog walking business! Churmy tells us how holding a leaf up to the light translated into her going into the Regional and Canada-wide science fair. She also talks about her love and passion for many different skills including art and dog training! You can find her on small businesses on Instagram under @bigwheatminiwheat and @flyingpotattoesk9

 

 

Season 2: Episode 208: Meet Kevala Von Volkenburg

We're joined by Kevala Von Volkenburg, a medical student at UNBC and esteemed Science Fair Foundation alumni! Kevala talks about how she got her start in science fairs through her love of exercise and how it led her to 4 Canada-wide science fairs, and was able to compete in Taiwan and at Google's science fair. In rapid fire, Kevala introduces us to Spark! by John Ratey and how this book was an inspiration to her.



Season 2: Episode 209: Meet Gavin Howells

On this episode of Let's Innovate! we are joined by Gavin Howells, a grade 12 student from Whitehorse, Yukon. He talks to us about how he got his start in science fairs in grade 7 and how it led him to participating in numerous Canada-wide science fairs and also Abu Dhabi! Gavin tells us about the noble work his is doing regarding potential health risks of vapes, how we was able to meet Prime Minister Trudeau, through science fairs, chubbyemu and much more! At the end, Michael and Gavin cap things off in some rapid-fire fun!



Season 2: Episode 210: Meet Rebecca Baron

Today, we are lucky to be joined by Rebecca Baron. a current student at UBC and fellow podcaster of the Women's Health Interrupted podcast. Rebecca talks to us about her Science Fair Foundation experience, her TEDx talk in 2016 and how learning about the health benefits from plants ultimately led her to a gold medal and platinum award! In rapid-fire, Rebecca talks about the book Women on the Ballot by Betsy McGregor and much more.

 


Season 2: Episode 211: Meet Brandon Greenall

Today we are joined by Brandon Greenall, a current student at UNBC getting his double major in finance and marketing. Brandon is a former Science Fair alumni creating projects such as an upcycle pop can solar heater and a diabetes management project he decided to do after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 2015. He also discusses his new podcast, The Commerce, Coffee and Community podcast and his love for the movie/ book Moneyball!



Season 2: Episode 212: Meet Janice Pang

Today we're lucky to have on current first year PhD student in biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto, Janice Pang! She started Science Fairs in 2012 as an eighth grader where she fell in love with studying the immune system and macrophages which eventually led to Type 2 diabetes research. Michael and Janice also discuss competitive curling, where Janice gets her best ideas and an amazing book that's given her inspiration!

 


Season 2: Episode 213: Meet Hannah Bild-Enkin

On this episode of Let's Innovate we're excited to be joined by Science Fair alumni and current student and the University of Toronto, Hannah Bild-Enkin! Hannah grew up in a Science Fair family with her whole family taking part including her two brothers. She got started in grade 4 and did 8 total projects during elementary and high school. Later Hannah tells Michael about her project with infants, her work as a jazz dance instructor and her favourite album by Esperanza Spalding!

 


More episodes coming soon! Do you have an idea for our next podcast episode? Tell us! Reach out at info@sciencefairs.ca or on social. We’d love to hear from you.