Kootenay Contraption contestants concoct canny creations

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One hundred of the Kootenays' finest young minds recently put their brain power into action as part of Kootenay Contraption contest. Tasked with the open-ended assignment of coming up with an invention that either does something, addresses a need, or solves a problem, entrants from across the area sent in photos, drawings, and videos explaining their projects.

Organized by KAST (Kootenay Association of Science and Technology) and sponsored by Fortis BC, ScotiaBank and CBT, this year’s event corresponded with the National Science and Technology week. This year's event was themed around the International year of Astronomy: “If you looked into the future at 2050, what will we use and what do you think we will need to travel and/or live on another planet?”

Working either individually or as part of a team, students from 14 different schools in School Districts 20, 8, and 51 took part in the contest. Rossland had a strong representation with 13 bright young minds from McLean, RSS and Ecole des Sept Sommets entering their thing-a-ma-jigs, whatcha-ma-callits and widgets.

While many students took their thoughts, ideas and designs to the next step actually constructing them, this year saw more kids than ever creating often elaborate videos of their contraptions.

As the winner of her category, Elesha Hall of Rossland was the winner of a fine prize: an iPod shuffle. In addition to fulfilling the criteria of the contest, Hall's water-cleaning contraption also ties into current water issues here in the Kootenays. Please see the attached video for a very charming explanation of the contraption by its inventor.

There's reason to be hopeful that the Kootenays will be in good hands when these young scientists grow up into our next generation of scientists and community leaders.