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Black youth science fair this weekend at U of G

The science fair is on Saturday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Summerlee Science Complex Atrium
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A science fair for Black youth is set to be hosted at the University of Guelph this week.

The U of G, in collaboration with Canadian Black Scientists Network (CSBN), is hosting the CSBN-Y Ontario Regional Science Fair on Saturday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Summerlee Science Complex Atrium.

The fair is led by food science department professor Lawrence Goodridge. It’s designed to introduce Black students in Grades 7 through 12 to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Students will showcase their physics, chemistry, math and biology focused projects. There will be cash prizes for the top three students for each category; junior, intermediate and senior. Selected winning students will represent the network at the Canada-wide CBSN Science Fair in Ottawa.

“People from marginalized communities don’t see a lot of scientists who look like them,” said Goodridge, in a press release. “And the reasons they don’t enter the field can sometimes be that simple.” 

The purpose of the science fair is to foster students’ development with mentorship opportunities aimed at increasing the intake and retention of Black youth in STEM fields.  

Goodridge often supervises graduate students. But to get more students interested in science sooner, he believes they need to be offered a guiding hand at a younger age, said in the release.

“I think we make a fatal mistake to wait to mentor only university students; it’s too late by then,” said Goodridge. “Many high school students aren’t exposed to all forms of science, and if we don’t get them interested early, we lose them.”   


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