The science courses for the MaST students are altered to provide both enrichment and acceleration. The MaST students complete both 9 and 10 Science in their first year, which enables them to start their specialized studies in grade 11 Biology while they are still in grade 10. They can then take grade 12 Biology while they are in grade 11. In grade 11 they must take both grade 11 Physics and grade 11 Chemistry and they are also allowed accelerate and to choose grade12 Earth Space Science. In grade 12 they can choose from any of the senior science course including Health Science.
MaST students are encouraged to challenge themselves in a variety of opportunities within the school and beyond. Some exmaples of recent successes are shown below.
Annual Science Fair
Each year the students do a large month-long experimental science project as individuals or with a partner. This is an extremely valuable opportunity for students to act like a scientist. They choose a problem to explore, they design the experiment, analyse it and report on the results. These are displayed in the evening at one of Danforth's most popular events along with engineering projects and tasty hospitality displays. The ten top projects from the school are selected to proceed to the Metro Sci-Tech Fair. In 2014 these 18 students won 20 medals.
Below, Mr Weight discusses a point of Science with Grade 12 student Tasfia while the Sci-Tech crowd explores the hundreds of projects.
Other Science Projects
Keen students also get involved in other projects. Three teams entered the International Clean Tech competition and two of these teams were among the selected 50 best projects.
Four teams from Danforth competed at the University of Toronto's Space Design Competition. They began their work several months ago on the topic of asteroid mining and teams come from as far away as India to compete. In the junior category, the team of Keyan Sheppard, Lazim Iqteder, Marc Frame and Michael Moses won 3rd place for best report. In the senior competition, the team of Ridwan Howlader, Prasad Srikuganathan and Jonathan Demmer took 1st place overall and the team of Trevor McCourt and Lucy von Appen took 3rd place.
Many students put together videos for the Ontario Mining Association's So You Think You Know Mining Competition. Last year Arujala, Nelani, Marissa, and Rees set a hard act to follow with their awards of Best 30 Second Commercial and the People’s Choice Award. All together, they won $5000! This year Danforth continued its success. The team of Ridwan Howlader, Prasad Srikuganathan, Mitchell Skarupa, Sabbir Hossain and Nobu Chern-Warwick placed fourth overall winning $500 for the team and $500 for Danforth. They were also invited to film the awards gala that took place at the ROM on June 3rd.
Other Enrichment Opportunities
There are many opportunities for enrichment beyond the school walls and students are encouraged and helped to apply for these. In recent years our students have participated in the Deep River Science Academy, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Summer School, U of Toronto’s Mentorship program, Skule Girls and co-op placements in hospitals, engineering and architectural firms.
Here are a few highlights from this year. This spring Nabiha Tahsin earned money while working on the WEMADEIT website to encourage more girls to consider engineering. Noshen Atashe was selected to attend the CEMC workshop in Computer Science for Young Women at the University of Calgary for a week in June. This summer Chelsea Chow will spend 4 weeks at Ryerson as part of their Research Opportunity Program in Engineering and Rees Simmons has been accepted in the Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students at the Institute for Quantum Computing.
Written Science Contests
The students are encouraged to challenge themselves in a great variety of written contests throughout the year. Here are some highlights form the 2013-2014 year. Max Musing achieved a high score in the Waterloo Computer Contest and will be receiving a plaque and a cheque for $100. Greg Morenz and Mohsen Heidari came first place in McMaster's Physics Contest. Isaac Ellmen came in the top 10% and won a book prize for the Sir Isaac Newton Physics Contest. Liam Cummings was ranked 98th percentile and Peter Zhou was 97 percentile in the Waterloo Chemistry 12 Contest and Chelsea Chow was 97th percentile in the Avogadro Chemistry11 Contest. Chelsea Chow - who is in grade 11 - was also ranked 98.7 percentile in the University of Toronto’s National Biology Contest for grade 12 students!
Meghan Paleolog in Grade 9 explains her project to Ms Porteous.
Other notable awards include:Recently two MaST students won the McMaster University Physics Video Contest: http://www.science.mcmaster.ca/macsci/outreach/physics-astronomy/physics-video-contest.html
Also, John-Alan Simmons' GPU processor project won 1st place at the University of Toronto Computer Science Competition and 3 other Grade 11 MaST students recently won a $1000 award for their video for the Mining Industry.