Alexandria student headed to Canada-Wide Science Fair

Alexandria student headed to Canada-Wide Science Fair
Michelle Journeaux

CORNWALL, Ontario – A Glengarry District High School student is on her way to Fredericton to compete against some of the best young scientific minds in the nation next month at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Michelle Journeaux, a Grade 10 student, gained a berth at the national event after winning an Outstanding Research Award Saturday at the 2015 United Counties Science Fair in Cornwall with her entry High Frequency Hearing Loss. She will travel to Fredericton – all expenses paid – to participate in the national event May 14-16.

“I am very grateful (for the win),” said Journeaux, who placed third overall in the fair. “I didn’t really expect much going into it. There were so many other people with great entries and crazy coloured laminated posters and I felt kind of inadequate.

“I think it went well though because after seeing those other projects I really didn’t put much pressure on myself so I was comfortable talking about my project with the judges.”

Journeaux’s entry tested how hearing is affected by age. She joked that she chose the topic after listening to her father complain about her playing the radio too loud while riding in his car.

The project sought to prove people over the age of 50 would not be able to hear sounds at a frequency above 17.4 kilohertz as well as younger people. She conducted hearing tests with subjects aged 15-83 using the recording of a particularly annoying sound – that of a mosquito.

After the testing, she actually found hearing loss impacted people even younger than 50. Her results suggest people over the age of 45 had difficulty hearing the frequency, proving her hypothesis.

While the test taught her the value of the scientific method, she said it really drove home the dangers posed by the listening habits of many people her age – who often blast music through their headsets.

“I realize that the things we do now – like putting our headsets on and playing our music at full volume – can have serious implications for our hearing,” she said. “Now I turn my music down to medium. It (the project) is telling me we have to pay attention and turn it down otherwise it can affect you later in life.

“Once you lose your hearing there’s no way to get it back.”

Other winners from the Upper Canada District School Board at the fair, along with their project names and awards, include : Anisha Banga, St. Lawrence Secondary School, Mars – The Green Planet, Rotary Club of Cornwall Plaque, Outstanding Research Award, Participation Award; Abigail Jordan, Seaway District High School, Eat a Rainbow Every Day, Outstanding Research Award, Grant-Marion Construction Limited Trophy; Harneet Cheema, Seaway District High School, Will it Grow?, Outstanding Research Award, St. Lawrence College Health Sciences Trophy; Emma Albert, Central Public School, Global Warming – Climate Change, Bronze Medal; Madison Brownlee, Longue Sault Public School, Mean and Clean, Silver Award, Bergeron Electric Trophy; Mackenzie Van Loon, Glengarry District High School, The Possible Links Between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans and the Anthrax Vaccination, Dr. Abraha Redda Memorial Award.

The 2015 United Counties Science Fair, which took place April 10-11 at St. Lawrence Secondary School, distributed approximately $10,000 in prize money and awards, scholarships, and trips. The 40th annual fair welcomed over one hundred students from nineteen schools in the region. These students completed over 70 projects that were judged by 45 volunteers from the community.

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