Student science contest participation influences study, career choices, alumni say

ists serving as judges.

The competition mirrors the real world of scientific research by:

  • Requiring students to submit research proposals for evaluation by a scientific evaluation committee;
  • Providing up to $200 in advance funding to approved student projects;
  • Assigning mentors to each team to provide expert advice and access to equipment and supplies; and
  • Having each student project judged by fellow students (peer review) and by judges representing government, business, academia and the education community.

    Profiles of ABC participants

    Adele Nguyen

    "The Aventis Biotech Challenge started me on this road to a career in science and I've just run with it."

    Awards have been showered on Ottawa's Adele Nguyen ever since she began participating in Aventis Biotech Challenge. Currently in her second year in the University of Ottawa's Biopharmaceutical program, she is the 2004 award under the Women in Engineering and Science Program of the National Research Council of Canada.

    And this September, Nguyen won the prestigious Killam scholarship prize which will allow her to attend Harvard University this winter.

    "The Aventis Biotech Challenge started me on this road to a career in science and I've just run with it."

    Nguyen her and partner Alexander Tomkins were ABC first prize winners in 2002 for their project which developed a home test kit that could detect minute quantities of peanut allergens in food. The successful project generated a great deal of interest said Nguyen but unfortunately they were too busy moving on to university to pursue commercialization opportunities.

    As part of the ABC that year they were also able to present their findings at the biotechnology industries' international conference in Toronto. "I never realized how big the field of biotechnology is. It really op

  • Contact: Terry Collins
    Canadian Biotechnology Education Resource Centre

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