MAIN PHOTO: Emily Aporta and teammate Annabelle Brozek were second, while Ryder MacQueen and Quinlan Yorke came sixth in the Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER:  Four students from Fall River placed in the top six of the recently held Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge.

Emily Aporta and Annabelle Brozek finished second overall in Canada, while Ryder MacQueen and Quinlan Yorke came home with a sixth-place finish.

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 over 100 participants from six Canadian provinces, as well as some international participants.

“We didn’t think we were going to win because it was our first time trying anything like this,” said Annabelle. “We were really surprised when they announced it.”

Emily said they were shocked to learn their final result.

“It was really rewarding, and we had a lot of fun,” said Emily. “We really weren’t expecting to come that far.”

Emily and Annabelle’s project involved looking at DNA samples and discovering the mysteries. They had to make an example of DNA using yarn and present it on a project.

“It was interesting because we haven’t done it before,” said Emily. “My favourite was we made fake blood and we learned about blood patterns. That was interesting.”

Quinlan and Ryder said they both had a fun experience with their project. They were proud of finishing sixth in Canada.

“We did a bunch of cool things during all the challenges,” said Quinlan.

The two liked doing the competition.,

“It allowed us to be creative,” said Ryder. “It’s a really fun experience. We learn something with each of the challenges we did.”

How did Annabelle and Emily find out they were second? While they were spending time together at Annabelle’s.

“I was actually at Annabelle’s house and her mom was there,” said Emily. “When we found out we won we were sort of silently screaming because it was really late for us here, but we were really shocked and just excited.”

Annabelle said it was a good experience. She had a message for other youth who might want to learn more or try a Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge.

“You should definitely try it out, because even if you’re not good at the challenges, it’s something good to try out,” said Annabelle.

“If you love science and you love math, you should do the Canada CyberSTEAM Challenge,” added Emily.