Science stems from curiousity

What do thermocouples, wind-turbines and heartbeats all have in common?

Each is one of the topics young scientists have explored for the Durham Regional Science Fair (DRSF).

For more than 10 years the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) has hosted the fair, and has seen much success in the since 2005, with half of the projects from Durham moving onto the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF).

The popular stereotype that scientists are all geniuses is far from the truth, according to one of the most notable scientists, Albert Einstein.

“I am not a genius I am just passionately curious,” Einstein once said. To many this is an absurd statement. Lauren Reid, a past competitor in the Durham, Canada-wide and international fairs, says science isn’t about being a genius.

In her TEDxYouth video Science is for everyone, Reid says science is a natural instinct.

“We are naturally curious, we need to know…science is just being curious and asking why, two things we do naturally,” Reid says in her video.

Reid not only competed in previous years, but also continues to promote science and even founded the science fair at her school, O’Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute.

Reinforcing that she is not a genius, Reid speaks about the pedestal scientists are put on in her video.

Reading a headline that calls a competitor a genius, Reid explains extremely high IQs are not a necessity when it comes to competing.

“These kids are doing something that comes naturally to every one of us,” she says in the video.

Reid says terms such as ‘genius’, ‘prodigy’ and ‘whiz kid’ are misleading, and can stop some students from competing, thinking they are not smart enough.

It’s all about asking why and then doing something about it, she shares in her video.

Reid started off making turbine blades in her garage with ice cream containers, and moved on to competing at an international level and being named one of Canada’s ‘Top 20 under 20’.

So maybe your IQ isn’t as high as Albert Einstein’s. But according to Einstein and Reid, science is not about a number on a standardized test, but rather curiosity to know and the drive to ask.

Registration for the 2016 DRSF closes Friday, March 25, at midnight, and the fair will take place in the UB building on Saturday, April 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fair is open to students in Grades 7 through 12 and the winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to this year’s CWSF in Montreal.

For more information, on the Durham Regional Science Fair, you can go to their website at or contact UOIT professor, and director of the fair, Dr. Mary Olaveson.