Youth Canada

A Guide to Science Fairs

6-08-2008 by Philip Edgcumbe

A Guide to Science Fairs

Have you ever wished you could do more than listen to your teacher and study for tests in your science class? Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a scientist and to develop a real experiment to test your hypothesis? Have you ever dreamed of travelling to the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) to spend a week with over 500 motivated and like-minded students who are excited to share their ideas about science? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then this is the page for you.

We are very fortunate in Canada to have the Youth Science Foundation Canada (YSF) which co-hosts the CWSF with a different region of Canada every year. Once you start a science project you will find that there is tremendous support for young scientists in Canada. For example, the YSF has the Student Mentorship Program Regarding Technology and Science (SMARTS) which connects young Canadians with science and each other.

Simply put, a science fair is one of the most amazing educational and personal experiences you’ll ever have in your life. It’s great to put on a resume and it can help you win prizes and scholarships! Top winners at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (for high school students) take home scholarships and prizes worth over $50,000 US each every year! The CWSF hands out over $350,000 in cash, trips, and awards annually. These are some of the largest prizes available to Canadian students anywhere!

Before you start winning awards at the CWSF you need to progress from a school or district Fair to a regional Science Fair and then each regional Science Fair sends its top projects to the National Fair. No matter where you live in Canada you are eligible to participate in a science fair which can eventually take you to the CWSF.

Contact your provincial science fair organization to find out what you need to do to start your first science project. If your province does not have a science fair organization website contact your regional science fair directly by downloading the YSF 2008 poster which lists contact information for each science fair region in Canada on the second page. Also, please visit the Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge (SABC) on the Youth Canada's website.

PHILIP EDGCUMBE graduated from Kitsilano Secondary School as a National AP Scholar in 2006 and is now studying Engineering Physics at the University of British Columbia. Philip participated in Biotrek, Gene Researcher for a Week, and the Mini-Med program. His science project won a bronze medal at the Canada Wide Science Fair and placed 4th in the Sanofi-Aventis National competition. On November 6th, 2006 Philip spoke to 900 people at the BC Innovation Council Awards dinner about the importance of science fairs for students. Outside of science, Philip participated in the French for the Future National Youth Conference in Fredericton and the Vancouver Model United Nations. Philip is active in the community, volunteering at Keats Camp and coaching school basketball and soccer.

Image courtesy of user "RinzeWind" on, via Creative Commons License