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Giants of science: Dr. John Hugh Gillis student Ozan Ürkmez earns national bronze medal

Ozan Ürkmez, a Grade 11 exchange student from Turkey studying at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, garnered a bronze medal for his project – Delve into Dimensions – at the 2018 Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF). Corey LeBlanc
Ozan Ürkmez, a Grade 11 exchange student from Turkey studying at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, garnered a bronze medal for his project – Delve into Dimensions – at the 2018 Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF). Corey LeBlanc - Corey LeBlanc

It may have been his first science fair project, but that did not prevent Ozan Ürkmez from gaining country-wide recognition.    

The Grade 11 exchange student at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School garnered a bronze medal for his project – Delve into Dimensions – at the 2018 Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF).    

“I had never done anything like this before,” the native of Turkey said.    

Inexperience – and a late start in fashioning his project – did not prevent Ozan from finishing second in the Strait Regional Centre for Education (SRCE) science fair, which earned him a spot on the national stage.    

“I didn’t really know what it was all about,” he said, with a laugh, of the science fair concept.    

His award-winning effort – one inspired by a talk from internationally-acclaimed physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson – involves development of a program that can be used to simulate already existing geometrical objects or design and create geometrical objects up to the Fourth Dimension.    

“It can be used to interact with them, modify them and learn more about geometry, as well as spatial dimensions, how they are connected and how they can be represented within one another,” Ozan explained in a project description on the CWSF website – cwsf.youthscience.ca    

In conversation with the Casket, he noted the work he explored could be “especially useful for design and educational purposes.”    

Along with his bronze medal, Ozan collected an International Summer School for Young Physicists Award, which includes a workshop at Waterloo University.    

“I am excited about this opportunity,” he said.     

Ozan also won entrance scholarship awards from Carleton University, University of Ottawa and Western University.    

“I would like to learn more about how I can build software with different tools and technologies, such as AI [artificial intelligence], to come up with more ‘creations’ or solutions to problems,” he said, also on the CWSF site.    

“For others working on, or thinking about doing projects especially in software, my biggest advice would be to simply start now, even if you start small.” 

Top performances    

Ozan was not the lone representative from the region in the national three-day celebration of science – from May 19 to 21 – at Carleton University in Ottawa.    

SRCE students – Lyza Ells, Caroline MacKeen and Taylor Smith – also participated.    

Lyza, a Grade 10 student at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, entered Roadside Vegetation: It’s Not Easy Being Green.    

Caroline, a Grade 8 student at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy, presented Cerealsly!?    

Taylor, a Grade 12 student at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, participated with The Wear and Tear of Bleach Dyed Hair.    

More than 430 students competed from every Canadian province and territory, as well as entries from Mexico, Taiwan and Thailand.    

Along with judging, students had the opportunity to engage in conversations with fellow scientists and learn from experts in the field.

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