News Release: All four WBRSF Finalists from FMPSD - Heading to CWSF

L-R: Mayor Don Scott with WBRSF finalists Shaaf Babar, Dhvani Patel, Dhruv Patel, Krish Shah and Phil Meagher, Chief Deputy Superintendent, FMPSD. Photo courtesy: Greg Halinda Photography L-R: Mayor Don Scott with WBRSF finalists Shaaf Babar, Dhvani Patel, Dhruv Patel, Krish Shah and Phil Meagher, Chief Deputy Superintendent, FMPSD. Photo courtesy: Greg Halinda Photography

(Fort McMurray, AB, April 24, 2018) It was another banner year for Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) students at the 11th annual Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair (WBRSF). All four finalists were from FMPSD and are heading to the nationals to represent the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The event - attended by Mayor Don Scott was held on April 21, 2018 at Shell Place, and saw 177 participating students from across the region featuring 133 projects. FMPSD secured 30 out of 37 divisional medals, and 27 out of 30 special awards.

Team Wood Buffalo will comprise of Krish Shah, and Shaaf Babar from École McTavish Junior High School, Dhruv Patel, and Dhvani Patel from Westwood Community High School. They are heading to Ottawa for the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF) from May 12-19.

“I don’t have words to share my excitement. This will be my first time going to the nationals. I feel an overwhelming feeling of joy,” enthused Krish, who is in grade 9. He won for his project, HALO - Heart Ability LOG and Operator. He developed an app for smart watches, and smart phones, which monitors the user’s heart rate, and can detect sudden cardiac issues.

“It can sense cardiac arrest, or other cardiovascular diseases when there are no apparent symptoms,” explained Krish.

Dhruv Patel, a grade 12 student, who recently won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship - one of only 30 in Canada - is looking forward to compete in the national event. He won for his project, HIRO - FatigueFree: An Intelligent System for Drowsy Driver Detection Using Convolutional Neural Networks and Deep Learning.

“This will be my first time at CWSF. I’m really looking forward to it. My project is about using artificial intelligence to detect driver drowsiness. It’s a system that solves the problem with a camera. Driver fatigue is detected by using three features: calculating eyes, yawning frequency, and heart rate,” notes Dhruv.

Shaaf Babar is heading to the nationals for the second year in a row. He is in the eighth grade, and his project was Smart Escape - A Dijkstra Based Algorithm for Shortest-Safe Exit.

“It’s an amazing experience to go again. I created an app, which alerts users when there’s a fire, or any other hazard. It shows them the shortest, and safest way to escape. It can be used in apartments, hotels, or schools,” explains Shaaf, who is once again the youngest FMPSD winner selected for nationals.

Dhvani Patel is heading to the CWSF for the third year in a row. Called W.A.A. (Wireless Activity Advisor) SMART Infant Health Technology, the grade 12 student’s project was about a SMART infant monitoring system, which tracks baby temperatures, medical records, and activities, to name a few elements.

“I’m pretty excited, especially because the CWSF is in Ottawa. This will be a fun week. It feels good to be able to do this all through my high school career,” said Dhvani.

Vicki Dawe, WBRSF board vice president, and Westwood Community High School science teacher dubs the event a “labour of love.”

“It is so inspiring to see these novel ideas from students. Massive kudos to our finalists, their teachers, parents, and schools for working with them on these great projects. These super bright guys get a lot of support and direction from their teachers, who work hard coaching them. I’m excited for the nationals.”

Doug Nicholls, Superintendent, FMPSD, congratulated all the participants, and the finalists.

“These young men have been making our District proud through a variety of achievements. We congratulate them, their parents, and our staff. FMPSD is a leader in science, innovation, and technology, and Dhruv, Dhvani, Shaaf, and Krish are a testament to this.”

Event photo album can be found here

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager

Fort McMurray Public School District #2833

Cell: 780-880-7666

Work: 780-788-8009

kiran.malikkhan@fmpsd.ab.ca