Benjamin Durettte, a Grade 10 student at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton, has placed in the top 10 per cent nationally in the Michael Smith Science Challenge organized by the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia. Durette also scored first in the province in the competition, winning a $100 prize for achieving the highest grade in New Brunswick.
The Michael Smith Science Challenge is a nation wide bilingual science contest written by students in Grade 10 and below. It was first piloted in the Province of British Columbia in April 2002 and since then has been held annually across Canada.
The purpose of the contest is to challenge students' logical thinking and creative thinking skills with minimal memorization required. This year, 1,266 students from eight provinces participated.
The exam covers a wide range of tough problem solving questions involving math, chemistry, and physics to challenge and test a student's knowledge on various scientific issues. It includes material in the science curriculum common to all provinces.
Science teacher Lisa Holyoke Walsh said Durette's accomplishment was "exciting news" for her student and the school and congratulations were being extended to Durette for his tremendous success and strong abilities in science.