Off to the Canada-Wide Science Fair

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Phylecia Ferguson and Autumn Heukshorst part of N.S. contingent in Ottawa

MILFORD: Two Hants East Rural High (HERH) students aren’t letting being from small town East Hants deter them as they head to the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa.

Autmn Heukshorst and Phylecia Ferguson, who’s in Grade 11, will both be attending the national science fair, scheduled for May 12-19.

The two girls give a lot of credit to their teachers at the Milford-based school.

“Us getting to go to the national fair shows that our teachers obviously did something right in teaching us things, and that we’re both the kind of people who can take that teaching and learn from it,” said Ferguson, who lives in Elmsdale.”We can reach our goals. It’s not impossible.”

Autumn Heukshorst stands by her science fair project. (Submitted photo)

The two competed at the science fair held May 3-5 at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, which they used as a warm-up tool to prep them for Ottawa.

Huekshorst’s project is experimental and looks at using milk to be more than a benefit to human health, but also to the environment by bettering water quality. According to the project’s abstract “by extracting Casein, one of the proteins found in milk, and combining it with Chlorine it can be used to improve the pH of water from rivers; brooks; and ponds, to make it suitable for human consumption.”

She chose this because of where she lives—on a dairy farm in Milford next to the gypsum mine.

“Our water is filled with the minerals that leak through the mine, so I wanted to use an alternative way to improve the pH,” said Heukshorst.

Heukshorst said it’s a great honour to attend the science fair.

“It’s a way to show what you’re passionate about and your views on science, as well as learn about other aspects you never thought of through other participants projects,” the Grade 12 student said.

She has lofty goals of wanting to place, but if she doesn’t Heukshorst said she won’t be disappointed.

“It’s just an honour to represent N.S.,” she said.

Phylecia Ferguson with her project. (Submitted photo)

For her, getting to attend shows her hard work has paid off and she will get to share something she loves with others who love science. She hopes to learn through other projects.

“It’s a way to educate people on things they didn’t think possible,” said Heukshorst.

A one-time dancer, Ferguson researched ways to help those who dance and suffer injuries. She created a 3D Orthotic using a 3D scanner in an attempt to minimize dancer injuries.

“Getting an injury is a negative thing and I wanted to minimize those,” said Ferguson.

She thinks getting the opportunity is big for her and Heukshorst.

“It’s definitely something I didn’t expect doing this for my physics class last semester,” said Ferguson with a chuckle.

She hopes to meet a lot of new people, visiting Ottawa, and taking in all that the Canada-wide Science Fair has to offer.

For Ferguson, the accomplishment has a lasting impression.

“It means that dedication and hard work pays off,” she said.