For the past 28 years, high school students in grades 9 through 12 have had the opportunity to compete in Canada’s biggest life sciences and biotechnology competition, Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC).
The science fair is a way for young enthusiasts to expand their knowledge and potential in science, math, technology and engineering (STEM).
A few select young scientific minds from across Saskatchewan recently took part in the two-day event where they showcased their projects featuring health and life sciences and biotechnology. They would have earned the right to represent the province going up against the country’s very best and bright students and their science-based projects.
Grade 12 Aden Bowman Collegiate student Aunum Abid was one of those students. Her project invested the second most common type of skin cancer caused by under protection from sun radiation.
“How this baneful phenomenon is responsible for affecting so many people’s lives to such a strong degree,” Aunum said. “(I wanted to) see what exactly is driving this cancer and why it’s not being targeted and what we can do to target it.”
Her brother, Affaan, also of Aden Bowman, shared his innovation of using a new spectral sensor imaging protocol to detect internal bleeding. The Grade 10 student is looking to uncover an easier and practical way to identify major challenges observed with endoscopy.
Aunum said the work she put into the project was the culmination of five years and ideas from past science fairs. This year her project placed her first in the province and third in the country.
She added the skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) affects more than 20,000 Canadians every year.
“It’s pretty substantial,” said Aunum. “I think that it was really important for me to research it and bring awareness to it as a whole.”
This is the fifth and final year she is eligible to compete in SBC.
Prizes for the top three are either cash or a chance to be paired up with a mentor for a given amount of time.
For any young scientists out there wanting to chase it as a career or participate in this event, Aunum said it’s important to stay committed and not to lose stride.
“Don’t ever be discouraged if your project doesn’t pan out the first try and I would suggest that you get involved (with it) as early as you can.”
Aunum said this was the perfect way to warp up her SBC career. She added she has enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan for the fall.
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