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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2015
BC Science Fair Students Win International Awards in Taiwan!
Vancouver, BC – Emily O’Reilly, a Grade 12
student from College Heights Secondary, Prince
George and Victoria Platzer, a Grade 9 student
from Bert Bowes Middle School, Fort St. John,
have returned with success from the Taiwan
International Science Fair, held February 4th to
10th in Taipei, Taiwan.
Ms. Platzer received a gold medal in the
Environmental Sciences category for her project,
Hay Aliens, a study that showed that the seeds of
invasive plants are spread throughout the Peace
region in hay harvested by local farmers. Of the
5,568 seeds that she collected from 22 samples of
hay, 628 were identified as invasive. Ms. O’Reilly
received a gold medal in the Health Sciences
category for her project, Ancient Knowledge –
Modern Approach, a study which demonstrated
Victoria Platzer (left) and Emily O'Reilly (right) with
the antibacterial properties of the apricot kernel. It
SuYun Geithner (centre), the head of Political and Public
has long been rumored that the apricot kernel has
Affairs at the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei.
medicinal value, however, scientific results have
been inconclusive due to the presence of cyanide
in the kernel. Ms. O’Reilly was able to devise a novel approach to extract the cyanide from the kernel to
allow her to test the medicinal properties of the apricot kernel in the absence of cyanide.
Ms. Platzer and Ms. O’Reilly were accompanied by Mr. Darren Platzer, a teacher from Alwin Holland
Elementary School. The students were selected to participate based on their Science Fair project work,
their communication skills and their ambassadorial qualities. Mr. Platzer was chosen as the educator
because of his broad outreach education experience, his years of participation and support of the science
fair program and his appreciation of its educational benefits for students.
Mr. Platzer reported after the awards ceremony in Taipei on Monday that both students are “very happy
and had a great experience”. British Columbian students have attended the Taiwan International Science
Fair since its inception in 1991, a legacy of the Pan Pacific component of the 1991 Canada-Wide Science
Fair hosted by the Science Fair Foundation of British Columbia.
“Through scientific research and innovation, Science Fair participants are able to gain important life and
job skills which help reveal where new career opportunities exist,” said Patti Leigh O.B.C, Executive
Director of the Science Fair Foundation of BC. “Science Fairs allow students to stretch their imagination
and intellect, and they also provide a chance for young scientists to network with their peers and with
potential mentors.”
British Columbia regional science fairs are supported by the Science Fair Foundation of British Columbia,
a non-profit, charitable organization whose vision is to sustain and enhance the science culture of the
youth of British Columbia.
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About the Science Fair Foundation of British Columbia
The Science Fair Foundation of British Columbia is the largest science and technology outreach network
in the Province supporting science education by inspiring curiosity through the Science Fair program.
To learn more about the Foundation, please visit our website at: www.sciencefairs.ca.
For more information, contact:
Madeleine Guenette
Science Fair Foundation of BC
[email protected]
604-602-5219
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