Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 8 - The Voyage Home

Unlike most years where we rush to get our bags packed and out the door for an early departure, today our plane departure is 8:30pm, and so we had the entire day available for some leisurely activities. We started with our best breakfast time of the entire week - 9:00am! The joy of "sleeping in"! After that it was time to pack up our suitcases and get everything ready. We then took a walk across the street from UPEI to the local Farmers market, which included a number of craft and other displays as well. 
One last time in the lounge At the farmers market 
 Back to the cafeteria for a quick lunch, and a chance to say goodbye one more time for the team from Australia - the Aussies were a big hit wherever we met them throughout the week. It was then time to catch a bus for the quick ride downtown, where we spent some time walking the area, and ending up at the harbour front. The Cows ice cream store was also a hit, of course! 
On the bus In Charlottetown At the harbour At the harbour - Another Cow At the harbour 
By 5pm it was time to head back, one last bus ride back to the UPEI campus. Some of the team went to grab a last snack before the cafeteria closed, while others stayed in the lounge to watch the end of the Champions League final soccer game. As the game ended it was time to load up the bus to the airport, and after a very quick check-in and boarding, we were on the way home. 
Charlottetown in the sunset 

Canada-Wide Science Fair is over for another year. Congratulations to Team BASEF, you all worked hard and had great projects. More than that, you were great ambassadors for our region, helping each other on the team, and treating all others with respect. For me personally it was an honour and a privilege to spend the week with all of you fine young men and women, and I am very proud of all of you.  All the best to everyone in whatever your futures hold for you.
- George.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 7 - Project Takedown

Getting Ready in the Morning
Today started with an 8:00am breakfast call, and the morning was filled with the final public viewing.  With Judging and Awards over with, the stress and worrying was gone, giving the team a more relaxed chance to talk about their projects for one final time. This was also the chance to see in person the projects that were the medal winners.

Once lunch was over, it was time for project take-down.  This happens quickly and without much fuss, with the entire teaming helping to wrap up the task.
Project Takedown Packing up the projects
The rest of the afternoon was a chance to spend some time outside in the bright PEI sunshine, spending time in the fields behind our residence.  A bit of relaxing, a bit of tossing a frisbee around, a chance to take it easy.  (There was also the frisbee challenge match between Alex and George G, in which George took an early lead before taking it easy on Alex and letting him win.  So says the blog, therefore it's true.)

Enjoying some sun after project take-down
After that there was a quick dinner, and then started the "Remembering PEI" final-night event.  This included events, music, games, and also a seafood sampler room with oysters, mussels, and lots of lobster!  This was popular with much of the team!

Lobster! Even more Lobster 
 The rest of the night was spent dancing, talking with new friends, and also a time for some quiet pursuits.

"Remembering PEI" - the line for Cotton Candy A quiet game to wrap the day
After a busy week, all the scheduled events are now finished.  Saturday is departure day, with some teams leaving very early, and some like ours leaving quite late.  After the team packs up their bags tomorrow morning, we'll be taking a look at the weather and decide on some outings for the day.

Near the end of a very busy week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 6 - Public Viewing and Awards

A busy day !

The day started with another round of public viewing all morning.  Then it was off to lunch at the cafeteria, and time to get cleaned up and changed so that everyone looked their best for the Awards Ceremony.

A quick bus ride back downtown, and in no time we were seated and ready for the Awards show.  It was an energetic show full of cheering and enthusiasm, as everyone was there to support all of their fellow teammates and finalists from all over the country.

Awards Time!

The hard work paid off and Team BASEF was very successful, bringing home a number of Awards and Medals!

Bronze Medalists! Phoning Home with the news
Team BASEF after the Awards

Here is the list of Team BASEF Award Winners at the 2012 Canada Wide Science Fair:

Silver Medals:
Catharine Bowman
Graham Bohm

Bronze Medals:
Alex and Erik Bercik,
Adrian Hucal,
Edmund Zamora,
Olivia Cerilli,
Kaushar Mahetaji,
Arjuna Yusuf,
John Mikhaeil,
Alexander Rey

Special Awards:
Information Challenge Award: Edmund Zamora
Actuarial Award: Alexander Rey

The awards were followed by the Awards Banquet, and then we all went back to the campus to enjoy the Awards-day dance!
  Awards Banquet CWSF Dance !

More pictures, and higher resolution versions, are available on flickr, at:

Congratulations Team BASEF, and to all the students from across Canada...  great work!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 5 - PEI Tours

Today was the earliest start of the week - 6:30am to get going for breakfast, and ready to leave on the tour buses by 8:00am !  One of the highlights of breakfast was a live radio remote by the local CBC radio station being held right from our dining hall - we woke to the radio playing reports and interviews from the previous fair days, and chats with the students from this morning during dinner.

The tours began with a visit to the Confederation Place Art Gallery and to Province House, the "birthplace of Confederation", where in 1864 the first meetings were held to discuss the creation of the Dominion of Canada. Information and tours on the history of Confederation were provided, and then it was back onto the buses for a visit to the Cows Ice Cream factory, which including a sampling of Cows cheese and, of course, their ice cream, plus a short tour.
PEI Tours - Confederation Place PEI Tours - Confederation Place Cows Ice Cream 
 Then came a drive over to the PEI base of the Confederation bridge, the span that connects PEI to the mainland.  An opportunity was provided for everyone to get an up close look at this engineering marvel, though a bit of drizzle and cold wind made the stop a bit shorter than planned.

PEI Tours - Confederation Bridge PEI Tours - Confederation Bridge 
 There was a visit to a PEI ceramics/figurine maker, and then on to Cavendish, where the first stop was a quick visit to the birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery, followed by a stop at Prince Edward Island National Park, the home of the Anne of Green Gables house and farm.  Everyone had a chance to wander the grounds and look around, and the weather co-operated for the afternoon stops (cloudy but no rain).

PEI National Park Anne of Green Gables House 
 Then we were off to a quick stop at Cavendish beach, known for sandstone and sand dunes. The team had a lot of fun wandering the beach, the rocks, and seeing the Atlantic Ocean.
Cavandish Beach Cavandish Beach 
 After Cavendish it was back on the road, back to the University Campus.  Then it was time to board a city bus for the quick trip back to downtown Charlottetown, for our "Dinner on the town" night.  We arranged reservations at a very nice PEI eatery, the Gahan House, and everyone had a terrific meal - and the service from the staff was also great and very friendly!  A terrific place that had everyone talking about the great experience.

Charlottetown Dinner in Charlottetown Dinner in Charlottetown 
 After that, and a very long day, it was back to the University Campus for some more quiet time - meeting friends in the lounge and just chatting before bed.
Relaxing in the Lounge with friends Relaxing in the Lounge
A long but very enjoyable day for the team.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 4 - Judging Day!

This is the big day - time for Judging!

An early start to the morning as everyone gathered in the lounge before heading off to breakfast.
A break at lunchtime Heading out to Judging
It wasn't long before it was time to take the walk over to the project hall, and judging began.  The morning was primarily Merit Judging, for the gold/silver/bronze medals, and each student had five judges come to interview them.  When the lunch break came, everyone reported that judging went well, and the pre-judging nervousness was finally gone.
On the way to lunch

After lunch there was another round of judging, this time primarily for special awards.  Again nobody reported any problems or horror stories, and when judging wrapped up at 5:00pm there were a lot of smiles to be seen!

After Judging there was dinner (roast chicken and mashed potatoes!), and then preparation for the "Charlottetown Challenge".  All science fair participants split up into one of 50 teams, and each team was presented with a series of scavenger-hunt type challenges to collect points.  The destinations involved buildings on campus and also at nearby locations around UPEI.  Team BASEF people in "group 4" headed south and ran into some confusion after their first destination, and though they walked a considerable distance their final point total was a bit low.  The rest of Team BASEF in "group 3" combined with some students from elsewhere in Ontario, and using a combination of speed and cunning accumulated somewhat more points.  But everyone had a great time, although they were pretty tired by the end!

Charlottetown Challenge event Charlottetown Challenge event
A few of the team remained at the finalist lounge after the Challenge was over, and there were a few games and other distractions to keep them busy until everyone crawled off to bed after a long, tiring, but successful day.
IMG_5234.jpg Relaxing in the Lounge?

Tomorrow we get ready for the PEI Tour Day - everyone is looking forward to it, but the early start (up at 6:30am for breakfast!) will not be a favorite part of the day.

Don't forget to check out all the pictures on facebook at:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 3 - School Tours and Stuff

We gathered in the lounge in preparation for breakfast at 7:30, and our first good news of the day was that Yajur's project finally arrived from Air Canada, having taken a much later flight than everything else.  Better late than never?  So it turns out we didn't need to use "plan B" of the reprints, which took some of the pressure off for the morning.  Some time gathering in the lounge before we headed out for breakfast.
In the lounge Ready for another day!
After breakfast we had a picture-taking with all of the other Ontario based teams for "Team Ontario".  A smart looking team!  (But Quebec still has the best "chant".)
Team Ontario !!
After breakfast the Science Fair got down to business, with a morning of School Tours.  It was a casual and relaxed opportunity for students to talk about this projects and meet some of their other Canada-Wide Finalists.  When lunch was done, it was off to "Science Shuffle", a series of science-based events and talks.  The team split up into different groups and experienced different events throughout the afternoon.

A little bit of very light rain in the middle of the day, but by late afternoon the sun was out again and it warmed up nicely.  So far Charlottetown weather has been good to us!
Off to the Science Shuffle Testing the senses Alex deep in thought?
After dinner the Science Fair opened for its first "Public Viewing", a final opportunity for students to practice and talk about their projects before Judging Day tomorrow.
Alex and Erik during evening viewing Olivia at evening viewing 
Adrian during evening viewing Yajur at evening viewing
Then it was back to the lounge for some down-time, but very soon everyone had gone off to their rooms, to get plenty of rest for tomorrow, and our earliest start so far (7:00am for breakfast!)  The team is excited and anxious for what Judging Day will bring.