Quinlan Yorke and Ryder MacQueen. (Healey photo of CBC N.S. video)

FALL RIVER: Two Fall River youth have placed second in a national online science challenge.

Quinlan Yorke and Ryder MacQueen, both Grade 7 students at Georges P. Vanier Junior High, learned about the Canadian CyberSTEAM Challenge from a story that The Laker News ran in October.

Two of the organizers are students from N.S. Jessica Bennett and Margaret Hopkins both call Wolfville home.

Bennet is studying at the University of Alberta, while Hopkins is an Acadia University student. They have teamed with Sandra Mai, from Richmond Hill, Ont. for the challenge. Mai is at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The three are united in their passion for advocating the integration of the Arts into STEM disciplines.

Yorke and MacQueen’s second place finish earned them recognition with a story by CBC Nova Scotia’s Colleen Jones recently.

The two spoke to The Laker News briefly about their success.

“We made a theme song with our homemade instruments for the C3 challenge,” said Yorke.

MacQueen said the challenge had the two friends put their brains together to make it work.

“We had to make a homemade boat and put it through three tests,” said MacQueen. “First we had to make it float for 15 seconds then we had to use a propelling mechanism to propel it 15 cm.

“Finally, we had to measure how many grams it could hold while floating (we got it to hold 2 ½ pounds).”

The Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge is a new online initiative for youth in grades 6-9 across the country. It was developed by the TeamUP Science Society based in Edmonton at the University of Alberta. 

The goal of the Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge (C3) is to encourage youth to integrate the Arts into STEM disciplines, placing a focus on STEAM.

C3 is comprised of 6 challenges designed to give hands-on exploration of all 5 STEAM tiers while solving a real-world problem. On each competition weekend, the challenge will be posted on the C3 website (http://canadacybersteamchallenge.com) and participants will have 48 hours to submit their best work.

Yorke, who loves these types of challenges and hopes to become a mechanical engineer in the future, was impressed with the outcome of the challenge.

“It was pretty amazing that we got second in a national competition,” he said.

MacQueen agreed.

“It means we worked really hard to come close to our goal,” he said. “We deserved it because we worked really hard.”

The finish means they move on to the next challenge said MacQueen, who wouldn’t mind being an engineer if his first hope to be a pro athlete doesn’t pan out.

“For the next challenge we have to do something about biology,” said MacQueen.

With the dedication these two put in to getting second place, a challenge about biology should be no problem.