Ella Chan, grade 12 student at Glenlyon Norfolk School, is the first B.C. student to recieve the STEAM Horizon award. (FILE CONTRIBUTED)

GNS student first in B.C. to nab national science scholarship

Ella Chan granted $25,000 after winning the STEAM Horizon Award

It’s not every Grade 12 student that spends their free time creating educational videos or writing children’s books, but for Ella Chan it’s all part of her passion for science.

The Glenlyon Norfolk School student just became the first B.C. student to receive the STEAM Horizon award, a national scholarship awarded to youth who promote positive changes in their community using science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

The scholarship allots five recipients per year $25,000 to put towards post-secondary education, and Chan knows exactly what she wants to do.

“Next year I will be going to UBC and starting the Science One program,” she said. “After that I want to pursue pharmacology.”

Ella Chan, grade 12 student at Glenlyon Norfolk School, creates educational videos on for kids on YouTube. This was part of the reason she has become the first B.C. student to recieve the STEAM Horizon award. (YouTube/Sci Files)

Chan became interested in the sciences after her younger brother was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a potentially debilitating kidney disease.

“I was 12 when my brother was diagnosed,” she said. “Hearing how his condition worked and learning that there wasn’t a lot of treatment options or research into the disease really inspired me to pursue science.”

Since then Chan has run a YouTube channel called Sci Files, which aims to educate children about science. She also helped produce a video for NephCure, the non-profit organization promoting research and awareness for nephrotic syndrome.

Chan said she gets good responses to her productions.

“Sometimes students use the videos to explore something they’re learning, or teachers use the experiments I’ve posted. It’s amazing to see people using my channel and learning.”

Chan also wrote an illustrated children’s book called STEM Files, which explores the topics of science, technology, engineering and math for kids.

“She’s very self-guided, we don’t really have to push her,” said her father, Tony Chan.

“Sometimes we try to discourage her from pushing herself so hard,” he added with a laugh.

Ella was encouraged by her teachers to apply for the award, but didn’t think she would get it.

“I was really shocked and it’s just amazing,” she said.

When asked how she manages to balance everything involved in a teenager’s life, along with all of her science-related activities, Chan laughed.

“It’s just time management. I find with the sciences, it’s something that I love to do, so I can always make time for it.”

Chan will start at UBC this September. She also received the UBC Major Entrance Scholarship for $40,000 and the BC Excellence Scholarship worth $5,000.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Susan Simmons begins a 24-hour swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

The MS Athlete and ultra-marathon swimmer wants to be the first person to make the journey

New Victoria mayoral candidate, three more council candidates step forward

Four people from NewCouncil.ca jump into the race for the Oct. 2018 municipal election

PHOTOS: Tour de Victoria takes off

1,800 cyclists took off in the Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria for a city-wide loop

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Oak Bay brothers scoop 10 kg of poop from park paths in 30 mins

Family picks up dog poo to give back, inspire others to be more responsible

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read