The team of grade 10 provincial STEM competition winners with their teacher, Neal Johnson (back, third from right in the checked shirt), and the boat that won them an engineering design award. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

The team of grade 10 provincial STEM competition winners with their teacher, Neal Johnson (back, third from right in the checked shirt), and the boat that won them an engineering design award. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Mount Douglas Secondary named top STEM school in provincial competition

Team of Grade 10 students wins first place overall and Best Engineering Design award

A team of Grade 10 students from Mount Douglas Secondary school won Best Engineering Design and Top STEM School at a recent provincial Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) competition at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond on Dec. 1.

READ ALSO: Girls learn code at UVic’s Science Venture camp

The team won four out of five challenges in the competition on the way to winning Top STEM School. Mount Doug placed second in the science Jeopardy challenge and scored first place in maths, physics, geology, and engineering. They competed against 24 other schools.

Emily Wang (left), Jasmine Chung (centre), and Eric Liu (right) helped their team take home a win from the provincial STEM competition held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond on Saturday, December 1. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Grade 10 students and teammates Emily Wang, Jasmine Zhang, and Eric Liu said the team didn’t expect to win. “We knew that there were some really big STEM schools, especially in Vancouver,” Wang said.

“They were announcing the winners for fifth, fourth, third, second, the design challenge, and then first. We won the design challenge and were like ‘that’s good enough, we’re probably not going to win first place’ and then we won.”

“Because we did do pretty well in the challenges, most of us were expecting to get maybe around fifth or fourth,” Liu said.

The team said their sailboat was the fastest to cross a pond in the autonomous sailboat challenge, winning the team the engineering design award. The challenge was for teams to sail a boat as quickly as possible across a pond without touching it, which the team did in 3.5 seconds. The nearest competitor came in at 4.4 seconds.

The team of grade 10 provincial STEM competition winners with their teacher, Neal Johnson (back, third from right in the checked shirt), and the boat that won them an engineering design award. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

The team’s teacher and Maths, Science, and Challenge teacher at Mount Douglas Secondary, Neal Johnson, said the students went through months of intense practice on weekends and after school to prepare for the competition. Some of his Grade 11 and 12 students who have previously gone through the competition helped mentor.

“They didn’t just win it by a little bit, they won it by a lot,” Johnson said, attributing it to that hard work. “I was really really happy for them because they had been working so hard towards doing well in this competition. I was also proud of basically the whole school because the support starts with administration supporting these types of endeavors.”

“Our world has a few problems and it’s going to require people to be able to solve these problems. We’re giving these kids the vision and success early on to realize they can be people who solve the world’s biggest problems, whether those problems be environmental, medical, or other fields,” Johnson said.

READ ALSO: Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

“It’s amazing what you can do when you get those types of students together and let them feed off each other. It’s an unbelievable, crazy amount of work but it is so, absolutely worth it when you see the end results.”

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

Kwantlen Polytechnic UniversityScience

 

Emily Wang (left), Jasmine Zhang (centre), and Eric Liu (right) helped their team take home a win from the provincial STEM competition held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond on Saturday, December 1. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Emily Wang (left), Jasmine Zhang (centre), and Eric Liu (right) helped their team take home a win from the provincial STEM competition held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond on Saturday, December 1. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read