Jacquie Gulevich receives $25,000 Year of Science scholarship

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

"She won for being innovative," said MLA Pat Pimm as he handed over the cheque. "I think she's got a great future," adding that it's great to have a young scientist from our area excel.

She beat out 84 other B.C. students who submitted short videos asking science-related questions. Entries were judged based on enthusiasm, original ideas and the ability to carry out the idea as an experiment or test.

Gulevich's question was an extension of her winning science fair project about the algae in Charlie Lake. As the cyanobacteria in algae is photosynthetic, meaning it can take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen, she researched whether it would be possible to create a biofuel from it.

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"So I thought if we could remove this algae that contain a lot of oil, we could put it into a biofuel, cleaning up the lake and making a useful product at the same time," she explains. "When I did a little bit of further study, I found it maybe wasn't necessarily feasible, but I looked at some other ways we might be able to clean up the lake and help reduce the amount of algae in the future."

This isn't the first time Gulevich has been recognized for her science knowledge: she's been to the National Science Fair four times, and has received several other awards and scholarships for her achievements.

"Science in general has provided me with a lot of opportunities," she says. "Just to get to discover new things and try to find a solution to a problem, has given me many other skills like researching skills and other tasks skills that I can use in the future."

She will be putting those skills to use as she enters first year Biochemistry at the University of Victoria this fall, with the hope of eventually going to medical school and becoming a family doctor. As she'll be in Victoria, Pimm hopes he can bring her to present her ideas in front of the Legislature.

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