Students gear up for Thames Valley Science and Engineering Fair

Western Engineering News | March 26, 2015

By Jason Teakle

More than 300 of the brightest young minds in science and engineering from London and surrounding areas will compete during the 45th Annual Thames Valley Science and Engineering Fair (TVSEF) from March 27-29.

Grades 4-12 students hailing from more than two-dozen schools across Oxford, Elgin and Middlesex counties will descend on the Thames Hall Gymnasium on March 27-28 for the TVSEF Exhibition. Public viewing of student projects will take place on March 27 from 8 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. and on March 28 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. More than 140 judges representing the local scientific, industrial and educational communities will assess the students’ science projects.

Western Engineering Dean Andrew Hrymak, who serves as this year's TVSEF chair, said the fair gives elementary and high school students an opportunity to learn more about the numerous job opportunities available to those with science and engineering backgrounds.

“The Thames Valley Science and Engineering Fair helps students to see the many career possibilities in STEM-related fields,” said Hrymak. “Their innovative projects at TVSEF supplement their classroom learning and are an indication of the potential for their future success in their engineering or science education at the post-secondary level. The projects provide an opportunity to gain crucial skills they will bring into the workplaces of tomorrow.”

An awards ceremony will be held on March 29 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Althouse College, Faculty of Education, Western University. Up to 10 winning students will be awarded trips to represent London at the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF) in Fredericton, NB, in May.

Additional prizes will be presented, including the Research Western Imagination Prize, Western Engineering Summer Academy Award, the Barfett Family Award for Social Science and more. Past TVSEF participants have won significant awards at the Canada Wide Science Fair, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and have been recognized by other organizations during recent years.

One of those successful students was Jessie MacAlpine, a second-year student at the University of Toronto, who attended the CWSF from 2008 to 2012 and ISEF in 2013 – and now has two patent applications pending as a direct result of her science fair projects at TVSEF.

“When someone hears of a science fair, they usually picture baking soda, volcanoes and blue ribbons,” said MacAlpine. “It is therefore amazing when you attend a modern science fair and realize the ground breaking experiments being completed by Canadian youth each year. The TVSEF has changed my life for the better by showing me that youth can make a difference and be leaders in the scientific community.”

Visit for more information about the event and a complete list of awards and prizes.