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Philip Schmidt

Location: Woodville, ON

Award: Young Canadians


Year: 2006



News Release


SAGUENAY, QC — (May 19, 2006) Three Ontario students were awarded prestigious Manning Innovation Achievement Awards for their work at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, which concludes Saturday at the University of Québec at Chicoutimi (UQAC) campus.

The Canada Wide Science Fair is a week-long national event that brings together over 455 students and 369 projects. Those who qualify have distinguished themselves from amongst the approximately 25,000 young Canadians, grades 7 to 12, who compete in regional science fairs held in over 100 communities across Canada.

Philip Schmidt, a Grade 12 student at Woodville's Fenelon Falls S.S., was recognized with both a Manning Innovation Achievement Award and a Manning Young Canadian Innovation Award for developing a fibreboard made of corn stover (residue). By replicating the procedure used for wood based particleboard, he demonstrated it is possible to use all natural products to produce an environmentally friendly fibreboard. Using readily available agricultural residue, he developed an economically feasible product that shares many of the physical qualities of standard particleboard — without the health concerns. It costs the same or less than standard particleboard, has improved fire resistance and opens up a new market for agricultural waste.

In addition to the Manning awards, Philip's innovation was recognized with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO's Science for Peace and Development Award and the Silver Medal in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences division.

Earlier this month, Philip competed at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), where he was one of Team Canada's top achievers. He won a National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance/The Lemelson Foundation scholarship, the first place-United Technologies Corporation scholarship and a third place Grand Award for Engineering.

Kayla Cornale, a grade 11 student at Assumption Secondary School in Burlington, was awarded the Manning Innovation Achievement Award for "Sounds into SyllablesTM II: Windows to the World of Childhood Autism". Based on a well-established observation that autistic children possess outstanding musical abilities, particularly with respect to recognizing and differentiating pitch and tone, Kayla linked nine musical harmonies to six universal emotions (happy, sad, angry, afraid, surprised, disgusted), three grammatical concepts and integrated them in a children's book, The Story of Little Bear. The music opened a window, allowing a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to begin learning and recognizing emotions, expressions — and reacting appropriately.

In addition to the Manning Innovation Achievement Award, Kayla won the Encana Best in Fair Award, the Encana Platinum Award for Best Senior Project, the Gold Medal in the Health Sciences division and the Canadian Psychological Association Award.

Sean Bhalla a Grade 12 student at Mentor College in Mississauga, was recognized with a Manning Innovation Achievement Award for his project "Photodynamic Therapy: A Red Light for Cancer". He developed photosensitizers, drugs sensitive to light, that target proteins known for their high level of expression in tumour cells. Two drugs derived from chlorophyll-a were synthesized and compared in vitro were shown to have a significantly higher tumour uptake without the long-term skin toxicity, typical of these compounds.

In addition to the Manning award, Sean won the silver medal in the Health Sciences division University of Western Ontario.

This is the 15th year that the Manning Awards Foundation has supported the Canada Wide Science Fair, recognizing the innovations of more than 75 bright minds at the high school level.

Bruce Fenwick, Executive Director, Manning Awards

Laura William, Youth Science Foundation Canada,