Friday, May 20, 2016

Day 7 - Project Take-Down

Another busy day planned!  Public viewing was again scheduled for the morning, with the team being either at their projects or given time to take in sessions being given by various speakers.  There was also some time available for students to look at other projects on the floor.
Though it wasn't very busy this morning, there were still people asking questions and looking at the projects - Paul even had one of his judges return to talk to him some more.

Paul discussing his project
Joseph discussing his project
Once Public Viewing finished up at noon, we went out for a quick "Team Ontario" picture with all the other teams from across Ontario, and then it was off to lunch.  After lunch we took down the projects, and the projects were rolled up into the carry tube, ready for the return home.
Preparing for Team Ontario Picture

Project Take-Down
 Before it was time to leave for the cruise we had some free time, which we used to take a walk through the McGill campus and to visit the Bookstore.  Weather was great, and the walk was a nice activity.
Some free time

 Soon it was time to board the busses to head out to the waterfront, to take part in the Farewell River Cruise for the CWSF participants.  It was a great two hour cruise along the Montreal river front, a scenic trip that also give the team and other students one last chance to play some games and dance a little.
Jack rescuing Paul's frisbee

River Cruise

Some Tired Team BASEF Members!

Once it was over, it was back to the McGill campus, time to pack up and get ready to leave tomorrow.  A few card games still left to play, and also the traditional "signing of the boards" (the project title backboards that the students get to keep).  Tomorrow it will be early to rise (6:30am!) to get breakfast and then catch the busses to the train station, and the catch the train back to Toronto and then to Burlington.  By this time tomorrow everyone will be sleeping in their own beds, and reflecting on the great week all got to spend at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
Signing Boards and Saying Goodbye
Finally, as chaperones of this team of 16 exceptional young people, it has been an absolute pleasure and honour to be able to share this week with them.  The entire team was without exception respectful, polite, helpful to their peers, and terrific representatives of their schools, cities, and the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair.  We can't even begin to express how proud we are of them all, and we look forward to hearing about their endeavors and accomplishments in the future. Thank you to the students of Team BASEF 2016 for making this week an amazing experience for us all!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Day 6 - Awards Ceremony!

Another busy day, but we first got the chance to sleep in (relatively speaking) until 8am.  Off to breakfast, and then over to the Project hall for a morning of public viewing and some science talks and demonstrations.
At noon it was time for lunch, and then it was time to get dressed up and ready for the Awards Ceremony.  A quick walk to the waiting busses, and then a short ride into downtown Montreal to the theatre.

It was a great awards show, and also very successful for Team BASEF, a great reflection of the hard work and effort involved in the projects by the entire team.
Terrific Results:

Australian National Youth Science Forum trip award to Jack.

 Challenge Award (best in the Challenge Category) to Isabella and Caroline
 Bronze Medals for David and Alex
 Silver Medals for Paul, Maggie, Michael, Jack, Katie, and Maggie

 Gold Medals for Zoe and Camila, Isabella, and Caroline

Congratulations to the entire team for their hard work and dedication to their projects!
The Award show was followed by a Dance, which went until nearly midnight and was a lot of fun for the team... Although Dan, Dana, Ingrid and Camila were the last ones to leave!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day 5 - Public Viewing

The schedule today had a great start - all the students were treated to a talk by Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield in a very inspiring hour-long talk about his achievements, his steps to accomplishing his goals, and how all the students can take steps to make themselves and their world better.  And he even finished with some of his songs.  Everyone enjoyed the talk immensely.
A great and inspiring talk by astronaut Chris Hadfield

Inspiration, and music too!

After the talk, Colonel Hadfield also walked through the entire project hall, stopping at a number of projects to talk to the students in depth, including talks with our own Team BASEF students Caroline and Isabella.
Isabella explaining her project to Chris Hadfield
The rest of the day was a combination of "On the Podium" lectures by Canadian scientists and specialists, the "Discovery" area of the exhibit hall with science demonstrations and other exhibits, and Public Viewing school tours.
Heading to the Projects after lunch
The morning started busier, but by the afternoon the school tours had thinned out and unfortunately the public viewing got a bit boring for some.  Hopefully more public will come to see the projects over the next two days!
In the evening there was one more short session of public viewing, until 7:30pm, and then students had the choice of attending a panel session on the future of Science Education or attending the CWSF Talent Show.  None of our team were taking part in the talent show this year (unfortunately they didn't have a piano or keyboard available on the stage), but there were some good performances by other students including singing, dancing, and even some cool magic tricks.

After everyone made it back to the residence, it was time to unwind a little - talking, playing cards, relaxing, and for a couple it was a good chance to get to bed and catch up on some sleep.
Time to relax!
The team has many talents...
Tomorrow will start with public viewing again, and then we all get ready to head out to the Awards Ceremony in the afternoon.  Another exciting day awaits!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day 4 - Tour Day!

Today we had the luxury of sleeping in - 8am for breakfast!  It was off to the cafeteria for a bite to eat, and then decide on our plans for the Tour Day.  We had a number of options available - the organizers had arranged for the entire Montreal "Hop on, Hop off" double-deck bus fleet to be available exclusively for Canada-Wide students, and each bus also had a tour guide available to explain the locations in and around the Mount Royal area.  In addition, we also had to option to walk to a lot of places since the McGill campus is situated centrally, and there were also extra busses available to go out to the Olympic Stadium area.
The sun has arrived!
 A quick decision was made to start with the bus tour and then narrow down our choices.  It was sunny this morning, but still a chilly wind at the top of the open deck bus!
Bus tour - cold wind included no extra charge

We received the guided tour around Montreal, and then disembarked to walk to the peak of Mount Royal - a great view of the surroundings.
The Team with Montreal in the background

From there we made the decision that the next stop would be the Olympic Park and a visit to the Biodome, and so after a quick lunch in downtown Montreal we were off again.
Something fishy in the Biodome
The Biodome was very interesting for everyone, although most wouldn't have minded it being a bit longer to wander through.  After some souvenir hunting, it was off by bus again, back to Dorchester Square in Montreal.

The team's work has progressed well beyond the volcano project!
 From there we decided to make the walk back to the McGill Campus - not too long a walk, and we also had the chance to experience the underground "RESO" complex of stores and connections that exists below the streets of Montreal.
Going underground

Lots of things to do on the walk back - musical swings!
In no time at all we were back to the Campus, and off to dinner at the "Sugar Shack on the Mountain" event... a combination of Quebec foods, maple syrup, and some more Quebec folk music and dancing.  A fun, long day... 

Tomorrow will be some presentations, including an opening Keynote talk by astronaut Chris Hadfield, and then some public viewing and other interactive events.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Day 3 - Judging Day!

Today was a busy day!  The Team was off to an early start for breakfast at 7:15am, and then it was time to get dressed up and looking our best for Judging Day.  By 8:30am everyone was in the Exhibit Hall, at their projects, and waiting for the first judges to arrive.
More Stairs...

Looking confident!

In the morning the students had the judges for the Excellence Awards (medals and challenge awards), for most students there were five judges that received the "long" (7 to 10 minute) presentation.  The Team's judging experiences were generally positive, with a lot of interested judges and lots of questions.  Some questions were tougher than others, but overall the morning went well and everyone felt they had done their best to explain their projects and their work.

A lot of relief and smiling faces when the Team appeared out of the Exhibit Hall ready for lunch!

Judging morning is done!

Lunch time!

Ready for the afternoon!
There was plenty of time for lunch, and then it was back to the Projects for a few more hours of judging - primarily special awards.  That too went well, and by 5:30pm all the judging was done ... they tough parts are over, and time to relax and unwind!

The CWSF organizers arranged a "Block Party" for the students at Molson Stadium ... food trucks, games, challenges, and more!  It was a great chance to use up some excess energy and to really relax and meet new friends after a long and busy day.





Dana has some important advice for Paul

Lots of fun stations kept the team occupied for a few hours, and a lot of happy and tired Team members were ready for a good night's sleep!

Tomorrow we're off to see our surroundings and Montreal on the Tour Day!

PS - Alex would like it to be known that he was never really lost yesterday as we were searching for the Exhibit Hall, he knew exactly where we were....

Is this the look of someone who's lost?