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

PHOTOS: 120th Annual Victoria Day Parade

Check out the photo gallery, watch our live feed of the festivities

Esquimalt Farmers Market kicks off summer season

Recently named Best Mid-sized Farmers Market in B.C., weekly event returns to Memorial Park

Preserving Victoria’s character buildings costly, but worth it

Pemberton and Son recognized for heritage preservation of Promis Block

Reporter gets serious with Tour de Victoria’s 140km ride

Travis Paterson’s training blog for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on Aug. 18, Volume 1

‘ALR golf courses should return to farming,’ says ex-ALC chair Frank Leonard

Former mayor says Saanich could appeal Cedar Hill Golf Course application

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

Most Read