During my time in high school, I had the opportunity to participate in my local science fair twice. This was an incredible experience for me as it was the first time I was exposed to the world of academic research and was able to apply the science and critical thinking skills I had been learning to conduct legitimate research.
The Bay-Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF) is the local science fair for my region for which anyone interested is invited to enter a project.
The Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) is the national science fair for which only those chosen by their local science fairs are invited to enter a project.
Solvent-based cellulose crystallinity minimization to improve biofuel production
Along with a friend of mine, I conducted research into the usage of solvents in minimizing the crystallinity of cellulose found in plant material which would improve the efficiency of biofuel production. The initial research for the project was conducted in my high school chemistry lab. The project won several awards at BASEF 2014 and we were selected as one of the projects to continue to CWSF. We improved our research with the help of access to a lab at McMaster University and won several more awards at CWSF 2014.
Using copper’s natural properties to prevent microbial contamination of computer keyboards
On my own this time, I conducted research into the usage of copper and its natural properties to attempt to prevent the microbial contamination of computer keyboards, a well-known public health issue. The research for the project was conducted in my high school chemistry lab. The project won several awards at BASEF 2015 but was not selected to continue to CWSF. Sad.