Peterborough science student to represent Canada
A Peterborough high school student has been named to a youth team that will represent Canada at the Regeneron virtual international science and engineering fair in May.
Calvin Karthik, a Grade 10 student at Kenner Collegiate Vocational School, will be part of the science fair team next month to represent Canada in the most prestigious science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) project competition ) in the world.
Ten students from across Canada will form Team Canada – International Science and Engineering Fair 2022 and compete virtually from May 7-13. The event will take place in Atlanta.
Karthik began by presenting his science fair project, “A Mighty Mushroom and the Power of Poop: Testing Biogas Production using Spent Mushroom Substrate, Phase 2” at the Peterborough Regional Science Fair, progressed to l Canada-Wide Science Fair and later on the European Union Competition for Young Scientists, an international science fair, and was named to Team Canada in March.
This is a unique opportunity for young scientists to be able to show people what they do, said Karthik, noting that he was one of many Canadian students contacted to be part of the Canada- ISEF 2022.
Over the course of a few months, Karthik and many other youngsters went through a series of processes to be chosen as one of the top ten students to represent Canada at the competition.
The students were selected by a panel of researchers and educators based on their scientific excellence, ingenuity, critical thinking and communication skills.
Karthik said his presentation skills were well honed and any nervousness or stress he had from previous competitions and interviews was gone.
“My stress levels just went down for presentations and talking to judges. It all comes back to the same thing, practice,” he said.
“It’s kind of stuck in my head and I need a lot less practice before each interview. I already know.”
He said the trick is not to think of the judges as someone scoring certain criteria, which can make people nervous, but to approach it as someone who wants to know more. on the project.
Karthik credits his success to his parents, who encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone and try his hand at something new, something he had a passion for, but was too shy about.
“My parents always push me to go the extra mile,” he said.
“They pushed me to do my first science fair, I was uncomfortable because I was not good at public speaking.”
He said his parents were always excited every time he won a new competition and it was no different when he told them he had been chosen to represent Canada in the 2022 Regeneron ISEF competition.
Karthik said his friends have also been hugely supportive, encouraging and praising him to continue in pursuit of his goals.
“The first time I won the Peterborough Regional Science Fair, they were super excited, they thought it was a great achievement, they were supporting me,” he said.
Karthik said that when it comes to choosing a project to pursue for science fairs, it’s always good to choose something the students are passionate about.
“Science projects take a long time. I’ve been doing mine for two years and it took a lot of motivation to stick with it,” he said. “You want to pick something that you see as a fun topic that you’d like to research and that interests you, and you want to pick a topic that means something to you.”