St. Albert students bring home a science Olympic gold medal

St. Albert students bring home a science Olympic gold medal

Paul Kane Engineers brought home some Olympic gold medals last weekend after building some ball sorters for the regional Science Olympics.

About 165 St. Albert and Morinville students came to the University of Alberta Pattidome on April 7 for the 2024 Edmonton Science Olympiad — an annual event in which students use science and engineering to solve practical challenges created by members of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta ( Ibija).

Teams of students had to complete several take-home mystery challenges and personal challenges with direct links to the school curriculum. Judges evaluated their solutions and awarded certificates if they met the Gold, Silver or Bronze standards of excellence.

Transfer the medal

At least four teams in St. Albert have won gold at the Olympics, a quick email poll conducted by the Foundation found Newspaper is found.

Two of them were from Paul Kane, who regularly wins gold and silver medals in the event, said team coach and chemistry teacher Michael Ng.

“The other schools are really afraid of us,” he joked.

“They know we're coming for them!”

High school teams in the Science Olympics had to build a robotic arm that could pick up colored balls, sort them and move them, said Daria Tsipokova, an 11th-grader at Paul Keane, who won a gold medal as a member of The Revelers. Teams were specifically asked not to build a generic claw machine, which made this task more difficult.

The Revelers built their own sorter using scrap metal, 3D printing, welding and a car door actuator, Tsipokova said.

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“It was the idea [based on] year Archimedes screw“It is a device typically used to move water upwards,” she said.

Tsipokova explained that the sorter uses a drill to lift the balls from the box and drop them on a slope leading to the goal area. A human operator presses a button to open or close a trap door in the ramp to deliver unwanted balls to another area. The operator can also use a lever to change the position of the auger to catch more balls.

Tsibokova said the team had a brief moment of panic during the competition when their device sent balls bouncing out of the goal area, but that was quickly compensated for by changing the angle of the drill. They shot 15 shots on time, more than any of their opponents.

Ng said this design received a lot of praise from the judges and applause from the audience because of its simplicity and effectiveness.

“Their parents were so proud to watch them, too.”

For the mystery challenges, Tsipokova said the high school teams had to build a bumper out of scraps and use a ramp to get a marble to fly up a certain height.

Other St. Albert area bands that won gold at the Olympics were Miss Hillier's Little Minions from Sister Alphonse Academy and the Elmer S. Gish Brainstormers.

Life lessons

Ng said the Science Olympiad was a great way to get students interested in science and engineering careers, and gave his students a huge confidence boost.

Amira Refaat, a member of the Revelers team, said that she had a lot of fun seeing innovative ideas at the Olympics. I planned to pursue a science degree from AU after high school.

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“Science is definitely a big part of everything you see in life,” she said, and it can help you understand how the world works.

“If you're looking at a human being in front of you, you know there's science going on.”

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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