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'Inspiring' teens with 'research virus': Expert-mentored bioscience contest proves a powerful vector
Date:2/20/2013

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SBCC in 2002 expanded Canada-wide, with regional competitions leading to a national final. And in 2008 Western Australia created a program for local students, the winners of which compete at the global BIO event. (See also Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/11MtXX9)

Supporters and judges

Sanofi Pasteur Ltd. and Sanofi Canada Inc. are the SBCC's founding sponsors and have generously funded the competition since 1994. Other national sponsors so far this year include the National Research Council Canada (NRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, York University, Genome Canada and Genzyme Canada.

Many eminent Canadian scientists have devoted a day as judges at NRC headquarters, headed by Dr. Luis Barreto (Chief Judge), Senior Advisor, Vaccine Program, Human Health and Therapeutics, National Research Council Canada; and former Vice President, Immunization and Science Policy, Sanofi Pasteur Ltd., and honorary patron of the BEC.

Student project results are secondary marking considerations; the competitors' presentation, method and depth of understanding are key, says Dr. Barreto.

"Since SBCC's creation in 1994, we've been committed to inspiring young Canadians to pursue future studies and careers in biotechnology and related sciences," he adds. "At the same time, all our program supporters sponsors, mentors, judges and many others -- have been inspired, indeed often awed, by the young competitors' innovative research and enthusiasm for science."

Many find it an uplifting event. Commented Dr. Roman Szumski, NRC's Vice President, Life Sciences at a dinner for the judges a few years ago: "I was thinking of all the challenges and troubles in the world today. After listening to those bright young people today, I feel much more optimistic about the future."

And there are typically delightful lighter moments. One year, for example, a national competitor entering the oak-paneled conference ro
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Bioscience Education Canada
Source:Eurekalert

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