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UTSC grants high school science awards

Chemistry Professor Andre Simpson talks to award winners.

Six area high school students were awarded UTSC’s Outstanding High School Student Science Award last week, after writing winning essays about everything from genetics to deodorant.  The winners got to use some sophisticated technology, attended a physics lecture, and had lunch at Rex’s Den.

“I find them really brilliant,” says André Simpson, the professor of chemistry in the department of physical and environmental sciences who started the awards three years ago. “I really enjoy working with them.”

The award is intended to instill excitement and enthusiasm for research by showing the students how research and development works at UTSC.

As part of the visit to the university, the students were able to use equipment in the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Lab to analyze ingredients in Red Bull energy drink.  “When you look at it, it’s just a lot of sugar,” said Onsia Ansari, one of the award winners.

Ansari’s winning essay was about the science of deodorant. Other winning essays were about the genetics of hair and eye color, pheromones, the evolution of the eye, and the science of cheddar cheese. The winning students were Ansari, Mallika Trivedi, Jad Abi Rafeh, Matthew Celestial, Vyshnaveei Piruthiviraj and Ann Fernando.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all of you do wonderful things in the future,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-principal, research, as he presented the awards.

The awards committee included Campbell; Henry Stronks, president of Bruker Canada; Donna Sinclair, senior account manager at Pall Life Sciences; and William Gough, chair of the UTSC department of physical and environmental sciences.

© University of Toronto Scarborough