The 55th annual Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair, or BASEF, was held at Mohawk College in Hamilton on March 26th, which attracted 510 elementary and high school students, the biggest fair in 20 years.  PEO Hamilton Burlington Chapter was proud to donate special awards to deserving young candidates with bright futures in applied science and engineering.

Professional engineers Dave Howard, Gary Closson, Erika Kadar, Jim Sweetman and Michelle Chin have teamed up as BASEF judges representing PEO Hamilton-Burlington Chapter and PEO Oakville Chapter for more than three years.

First place prize of $250 went to Katie Brent, a Grade 11 student at Notre Dame Secondary School in Burlington for her project: “ElectroMyographically Manipulated Arm.” The innovation was a fully functional model robotic prosthetic limb that used ElectroMyography to control its actions and a Myo Armband developed at the University of Waterloo. Katie was successful in creating both hardware and software that allowed for muscular electrical signals to be translated into comparable movements for the prosthesis. The concepts could potentially be applied to creating low cost prosthetic limbs with an improved and more natural sensory experience for the user.  Katie advances to the Canada Wide Science Fair being held in May in Fredericton.

Second place prize of $150 went to Jason Klapiz, a Grade 8 student at St. Michael’s Elementary School in Hamilton.  Jason’s innovation was a Signal Shirt to make cyclists safer at night. He built the circuits to create a shirt that has LED lights on the back of it in an “X” pattern which is divided intoseparate circuits to light up as a right arrow, left arrow, or an X (stop). Each circuit shows an arrow signalling a direction and if both circuits are on at the same time it shows the X. To make it easy to use, Jason built a device that fits on a finger to enable the signals to be operated without having to take hands off of the handle bars. One version fit under a thin shirt and the other version fit over clothing.

Third place prize of $100 went to Thomas Habicht of Binbrook for his project, “Resource Management with Arduino.”  Thomas observed a problem in his neighbourhood and developed an inexpensive computerized cistern level monitoring system to predict to homeowners when they should arrange for delivery of freshwater to their homes.  The technology could also be applied to optimize other utilities.

Congratulations to these and all students who participated.