High school students test their university science skills at KPU Science Challenge

Thu, Dec 4, 2014

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Over 350 B.C. high school students competed in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) ninth annual Science Challenge held last week at KPU Richmond. The intense competition saw 55 teams of junior and senior students battling it out in biology, chemistry, engineering design, mathematics, physics, environmental science and geology challenges.

“Once again, students and teachers were impressed with our event, and appreciative of the opportunity to practice some interesting hands-on science. It’s a really rewarding experience to see so many students so enthusiastic and engaged with the contest,” said Don Mathewson, KPU physics instructor and event coordinator.

“We strive to develop hands-on challenges that are interesting, contextual and linked to the high school science curriculum.”

Contest scores are based on the successful solution of design problems, good experimental technique and measurement skills, correct application of science concepts, and the correct use of data and calculations to draw conclusions. The hands-on activities are designed to be educational, entertaining and challenging. Prizes are given to the top five senior and top five junior teams.

“The KPU Science Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for future science students to experience science education in an exciting and interactive environment,” said Dr. Elizabeth Worobec, dean of KPU’s Faculty of Science. “We hope it sparks in these students an interest in pursuing a career in science.”

“We like to promote project-based, interactive learning, so the kids were really looking forward to this event,” said Mike Hengeveld, science teacher from Templeton Secondary, adding that his students’ favourite part was the competitive nature of the event.

KPU’s annual Science Challenge was developed to showcase to young science students how science works, who scientists are, the kinds of work they do and why science matters in the everyday lives of British Columbians and the communities they live in.

The university’s science-based programs provide students with an education beyond classroom learning, in a scholarly discipline that prepares them for professional careers. For more information, visit: kpu.ca/science.

Photos from KPU's 9th annual Science Challenge are available on FacebookFor a list of participating secondary schools, visit: kpu.ca/sciencechallenge/teams


Top senior teams (in order):
1. New Westminster
2. Pinetree
3. Burnaby North 
4. Point Grey 
5. Sardis

Top junior teams (in order):
1. H. J. Cambie
2. Mount Douglas
3. Fraser Heights
4. W. J. Mouat 
5. Sardis

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at www.kpu.ca.


Caption: High school students competed in various hands-on skill-testing science challenges at the 9th annual KPU event.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

Triona King
Communications and Events Specialist
Faculty of Science
t: 604.599.2048

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