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

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

No fines issued in provincial parks over May longweekend

Activities restricted to day-use only

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Social distancing at the skatepark — kids style

Kids in the village have taken on board this season of social… Continue reading

Spirit Square reopened on June 1

Spirit Square was closed to the community in accordance with the public… Continue reading

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read