GPV students earn Top-10 finish in Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge

Emily Aporta and Annabelle Brozek. (Submitted photo)

FALL RIVER:  Two young girls from Fall River came away with a top 10 placing and an overall challenge winner recognition from the Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge, held Feb. 6.

Emily Aporta and Annabelle Brozek, Grade 8 students at Georges P. Vanier Junior High in Fall River, came away with a sixth place finish out of 119 teams from across Canada. They were also the Overall Sprint Challenge winners.

The Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge is a national online competition that allows students in grades 6-12 to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. This year, the event received 150 participants from six Canadian provinces, as well as some international participants. 

Emily and Annabelle said it was an honour to participate and they’re super happy to bring home a sixth-place finish.

“I’m just so happy that we got that far,” said Emily in an email interview. “We put a lot of work into this challenge and coming out that good it’s just incredible and honestly a shock.

“This was an amazing experience.”

The girls did have some obstacles back home to overcome to get sixth.

“This is when there was that big power outage and we were just using up our cell data to connect to the meeting,” said Annabelle, 13. “There were also many parts that we enjoyed, and it was fun looking back. 

“I felt great before doing it, a little bit nervous, but also excited because I love Science. Doing it with my best friend is just an incredible experience,” added Emily.

The two built a of a trash transit (they call it that). It was like a little boat that floats on water that has AI learning technology so it can see things around it.

“It uses its little grabbers/claws to grab the garbage out of the water so the water is less polluted, and it makes sure not to catch the fish by using the AI technology,” explained Emily, 14, “so that the driver on the boat on top can see from on the boat what it is collecting and not make the mistake of collecting sea life.

“We chose to make ours this way because we know that if we used a net, it could grab fish instead of just the garbage. We also had to budget how much we spent and made a year and how to build it.”

Emily and Annabelle both agreed it was an incredibly fun project.

“We really loved the sprint challenges because they got us to think quickly on the spot and they just allowed us to be creative,” Annabelle said. “One of them was that we had to write down everything we do in a day and calculate our carbon footprint and come up with solutions on how to lower it.”

The girls were two of the 25 award winners, with five of those winners coming from Nova Scotia.

The three other Nova Scotia finishes among the 25 award winners were (as provided by the Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge):

  • Aayush Kumar (Grade 6, Bedford) – ninth place
  • Arnogh Kumar (Grade 8, Bedford) – 13th place
  • Gaia Kupitman (Grade 8, Bedford) – 14th place