Hayden Persad is looking for a way to reduce the world’s carbon footprint by using food waste to make plastic instead of petroleum. His experiment won two awards at the West Kootenay Regional Science Fair on Saturday. Photo: Kristen Lawson

Young Kootenay scientists show off projects at regional fair

The West Kootenay and Boundary Regional Science Fair was held in Nelson

Violet Hubscher and Lydia Moores had a pressing question.

“What do you call a reptile that tells jokes? A stand-up chameleon!”

Hubscher and Moores’ project on how chameleons change colour won silver for Grade 4 research projects Saturday at the West Kootenay and Boundary Regional Science Fair.

Over 100 kids from around the Kootenays showcased their work at Nelson’s L.V. Rogers Secondary in categories that included experiments, innovation, research and studies. Projects were judged by volunteers who work in science.

Grade 7 to 12 students were required to focus on an important issue in society.

One such project came from Hayden Persad, a Grade 9 student who wanted to create a food-based plastic. The Creston resident tried 30 different recipes to create a bioplastic from potato peels, settling on a mix of potato waste and glycerin.

While there are food-based plastics already available, he wants to use food waste.

“Most bioplastics are made from food sources … but I didn’t want to use food because with our growing population we need to ensure that food [is available] for people around the world,” said Persad.

Persad’s project won the B.C. Game Developers Innovation Award, Midas Lab Scholarship and a certificate to attend the National Science Fair in Fredericton.

The Youth Science Canada fair partnered with the Ted Rogers Community Grants program and Ted Rogers Scholarships Fund to put on the event. Science World On the Road also participated with demonstrations and booths.

The Nelson event is one of 102 regional science fairs that take place across Canada annually, with approximately 25,000 students competing across the country.

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The West Kootenay and Boundary Regional Science Fair drew over 100 students to Nelson. Photo Kristen Lawson

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