ARCHIVED - NRC Helps Develop Next Generation of Scientists
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July 04, 2004— Ottawa, Ontario
|Charles Tran of Edmonton, national winner of the Aventis Biotech Challenge 2004.|
After months of research and regional level competitions, high school students from across Canada earned the chance to present their biotechnology research projects at the national Aventis Biotechnology Challenge. For the Canada-wide finals, NRC scientists joined other experts to form the judges panel. Facilities across Canada were linked via videoconference as students from 12 cities competed for national titles.
Western Canada was the big winner, taking home the top three 2004 national awards. First place was awarded to Charles Tran of Edmonton, Alberta, for his work identifying a genetic mutation that causes a rare blood-clotting disorder. Second place went to William Turk of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for investigating how microscopic life forms break down pollution in old gold mines. And third place was awarded to Kimberly Richards of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for examining the effects of 150 years of selective breeding of wheat.
A special award for the project with the most commercial potential was given to Sarah Small and Ronan MacParland of St. John's, Newfoundland, who developed an herbal sunscreen made from green tea. The students have already been approached by a company interested in their product.
In addition to the recognition the teams receive for their research, they all take home prize money, and many are awarded summer jobs and scholarships.
NRC is a major partner of the Aventis Biotech Challenge, a Canadian science competition introducing students to the real world of biotechnology by having them carry out research projects of their own design.
Many of the participants go on to pursue careers in biotechnology, healthcare, agriculture and the environment. The event helps raise awareness among students, educators and the public about the emerging science of biotechnology.
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