APEGA hosts elementary student Science Olympics at MHC

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) held the 2023 Science Olympics in the Indigenous culture space, Ómahksípiitaa or Big Eagle, at Medicine Hat College last Saturday.

“It’s a beautiful space and MHC was very gracious to donate it to us for use,” said organizer Cody Hyam, a member of the Medicine Hat branch of APEGA.

APEGA was glad to be back to an in-person Science Olympics. The event was cancelled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021, which resulted in high attendance from some communities but not others.

Grade 4-6 students participated this year in a scenario where they were on a cruise ship that had lost all power. The students had to design and create a large LED letter x as a rescue sign.

“It’s great to see the involvement and interest by the young kids in the, what we like to affectionately call, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) industries,” said Hyam. “Building that science base in kids is hopefully going to help guide them in the future and strengthen our community.”

Reece Custom Manufacturing in Redcliff was one of the sponsors of the event. Dave Shields, president and operations manager, stated, “We made the donation because we were interested. We think this is a great opportunity to introduce children this age to STEM and show there is direction and interest. It’s nice that APEGA has brought this together.”

Spider Electric was another sponsor, bringing a wiring challenge and button-mashing game for the kids. The wiring challenge involved splicing some wires together and if they got it right a light would turn on. The button-mashing game showcased some of the automation the company uses.

Kyle Haland, a partner with Spider Electric, said, “We’re a member of APEGA and this is good for the community. I’ve run similar events like this in elementary school classes and it’s amazing to see some of the kids’ reactions. I don’t remember doing that when I was a kid.”

SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News