Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, from on-board the International Space Station, speaks to students attending the Canada-wide science fair in Fredericton on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett)

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques announces winners of science contest from space

Saint-Jacques spoke via a live video link from the space station orbiting 400 kilometres above earth

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques took time from his busy schedule on the International Space Station Wednesday to encourage young students to pursue science — telling them they are the future.

Hundreds of students from across Canada are gathered in Fredericton this week for the 2019 Canada-Wide Science Fair at the University of New Brunswick.

Saint-Jacques spoke to the students via a live video link from the space station orbiting 400 kilometres above earth.

“Remember, our future is in the hands of young people like you, everybody in the audience, people who want to make a difference. You can make a difference. You are the future,” he said.

READ MORE: Astronaut David Saint-Jacques joins select group, just fourth Canadian to perform spacewalk

Saint-Jacques announced the winners of the Little Inventors — Inventions for space contest.

More than 3,000 students entered the contest, but Connor Brown from Acton, Ont., and Amy Claerhout of Beaumont, Alta., both Grade 7 students, were selected the winners.

Brown designed different imprints for the bottom of space boots to identify the footprints of different astronauts on the moon or other planets.

“Most boots have the same zigzag pattern on the bottom of the sole. But with my idea, astronauts can see their designed boot imprint marks on the moon. With my invention we can also tell which imprint belongs to who,” Brown told the audience.

Saint-Jacques said he thought it was a very creative idea.

“And you know Canada has joined a group of nations to go back to the moon and we’ll need boots for that. So maybe your invention will have a future. Keep thinking and keep inventing,” he said.

Amy Claerhout designed a mini Canadarm for the washroom on the space station to keep personal hygiene items such as brushes, tweezers and tooth brushes from floating away.

Saint-Jacques said it was an item that would be very useful because the astronauts on the space station have things float away all the time.

Claerhout said she was amazed that Saint-Jacques spoke directly to her and knew who she was.

Both students said they would like to see their inventions put to use, and will follow their interest in science.

About a dozen students from across the country got the opportunity to ask Saint-Jacques questions ranging from “What happens to fizzy liquids like soda pop in space?” to questions about growing food in space, and how to encourage the next generation of thinkers in Canada.

Reni Barlow, executive director of Youth Science Canada said a lot has changed at student science fairs over the years and the ideas from students are more complex than volcanoes made with vinegar and baking soda.

“Primarily it’s because they want to help people. They are passionate about a particular question. They want to make the world a better place. They are not afraid to tackle challenging problems and bigger questions and to go out and find the answers and the resources to come up with some pretty amazing projects,” he said.

Barlow said many of the students are interested in topics like politics and climate change.

“Students are very tuned in to the global problems and local problems and they want to make a difference,” he said.

At the start of the brief event with the students, the International Space Station was over the northern Pacific Ocean and was south of Africa by the time it was complete.

Saint-Jacques arrived on the space station last December for a six-and-a-half month mission, which has included a space walk.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

House burns in Harewood, three people displaced

Dog unaccounted for after house fire Sunday evening

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No need to wait to enforce new speed limit in the north end

If safety is the goal, why is there a ‘grace period’ for motorists to adjust, asks letter writer

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

Nanaimo RCMP detachment resumes limited front counter service

Detachment front counter staff now processing police information checks

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read