Category Archives: Educational

Fun Friday ~ Quirky USA Town Trivia Part 3

The following article, “America’s Quirkiest Towns”,  is the 3rd part of Huffington Posts’ ‘The Blog’ article posted by Katrina Brown Hunt, taken from Travel+Leisure  Sept. 3, 2014.
America’s Quirkiest Towns (PHOTOS)

Paul Stone loves the colorful locals he sees on Boulder, Colorado’s downtown plaza, the no-cars-allowed Pearl Street Mall…
 That double-jointed blend is probably why the Colorado mountain town also made the top 20 for quirky locals, according to Travel + Leisure readers…

Doylestown, PA

14 doylestown-pennsylvania

In the heart of history-rich Bucks County, there’s a fine line between quirkiness and extreme quaintness: cutting-edge souvenirs include the locally grown sachets from the Peace Valley Lavender Farm. Doylestown also ranked well for its fairs, such as the annual Polish Festival, held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (a Black Madonna sometimes seen as a subversive), and the crowd-pleasing Beer Fest, held at the town’s former estate, Fonthill Castle. Readers also applauded Doylestown for brunch: try the Purgatory Plate (poached eggs over slow-cooked sweet onions, plum tomatoes, and Grana Padano cheese) at local favorite Domani Star.

Lawrence, KS

15 lawrence-kansas

This Kansas town made the top 20 for embracing those who aren’t afraid to make public spectacles. Each summer brings the Lawrence Busker Festival, featuring sword swallowers and fire dancers, and every Christmas the fire department makes a show of rescuing Santa off the roof of Weaver’s Department Store. Year round, Lawrence supports the Museum of the Odd, whose curator has collected such fascinating exhibits as celebrity toothbrushes, ashtrays made from animal limbs, and roughly 600 sock monkeys. It also ranked highly for its ice cream, such as the cookie-and-candy-filled Kansas Twister scoops at Sylas and Maddy’s.

Snowmass, CO

16 Snowmass, CO

This ski town landed in the survey’s top 10 for being friendly and smart, but quirky isn’t too far behind. After all, it seems locals have a habit of attaching stuff to trees. The Sanctuaries in the Snow tour, led by a retired attorney, will take you to see the area’s best mysterious shrines—elaborate homages in the woods devoted to, say, Jerry Garcia, golf, or Snoopy. Past quirky residents, meanwhile, have included at least one woolly mammoth; a tusk was excavated a few years ago in Snowmass Village and can now be seen, along with other local fossils, at the town’s Ice Age Discovery Center.

Greenville, SC

17 greenville-south-carolina

The most iconic site in this Blue Ridge town is truly off-kilter: Liberty Bridge, in Falls Park, a pedestrian bridge whose 90-foot-tall masts tilt an eye-catching 15 degrees. If you’re not feeling woozy afterward, stop in at the Dark Corner Distillery, the state’s first legal moonshine operation, where you can taste the Butterscotch Shine or the chipotle-and-cinnamon Hot Mama, and learn to make your own hooch back at home. Readers also liked the casual dining scene: at Papi’s Tacos, the off-the-menu favorite is the Walking Taco, a loaded bag of Doritos and a fork. Locals may enjoy it ironically, since Greenville also placed in the top 10 for being hip.

Franklin, TN

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This charming town south of Nashville dances to it own beat, winning the survey for its un-countrified festivals, such as its summer Jazz Festival and winter’s Dickens of a Christmas. Franklin also won the survey for its cool souvenirs. You might go home with bottles of brisket marinade and denim coozies from Puckett’s Grocery, or rare volumes from Landmark Booksellers, whose building dates back to 1798 and reportedly houses some busy ghosts. Around here, that’s not so unusual: Franklin’s present-day locals scored well in the survey for staying active.

Amelia Island, FL

19 amelia-island-florida

There’s a fickle backstory to this little island town: it has belonged to eight different nations, and today offers a fun-loving blend of Deep South and island culture. The town ranked highly in the survey for historic inns like the Victorian-era Hoyt House andWilliams House and for its family-vacation appeal. For a one-of-a-kind activity with the kids, take Amelia River Cruises’ Eco-Shrimping Tour, where you get to catch (then release) the little shellfish.

Beaufort, NC

20 beaufort-north-carolina

While some towns do Civil War reenactments, Beaufort does an annual re-creation of a 1747 showdown between pirates and feisty town locals. That swashbuckling sense of excitement still lives on. Readers loved this Inner Banks town for its romantic places to stay—such as The Cedars Inn, which has hosted seafaring types as far back as the late 1700s – and its live music. To hear the best local musicians, go to the Backstreet Pub, where Wednesday nights are “Hoot Nights,” and during downtimes, patrons are welcome to play cribbage at their tables.

water-dropletHope you all enjoyed your armchair travel time,
Parts 1,2,3 with us.

Get out and enjoy nature’s autumn bounty this weekend. 

Villages sunk during St. Lawrence Seaway

1-SEAWAY SUNKEN VILLAGES

Many thanks to gizmodo.com’s Geoff Manaugh who posted the following article, “Haunting Aerial Photographs Of Drowned Villages In Canada”, 23 October, 2013

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Louis Helbig is cataloging aerial photographs of Canadian villages drowned by the construction of the St Lawrence Seaway on his website Sunken Villages. The photos are haunting and gorgeous, almost emerald-like, but often difficult to read. Outlines of houses and roads barely emerge from the silt like scenes from a dream by J.G. Ballard, or flooded stage sets in the water that, in some photos, are lazily criss-crossed by boats.

The shot seen above, featuring a “barn with octagonal silo“, or the photo simply described as two buildings in Riverside Heights — an overly optimistic name for a town that now finds itself underwater — exemplify the dreamlike nature of the scenes.

Some of the lost architectural features of the region are now SCUBA-diving attractions, Helbig explains.

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Two Buildings Riverside Heights” by Louis Helbig.

Helbig relays the extraordinary history of these villages on his site, including a brief introduction to the dispersed former residents who still refer to things like “Inundation Day” as a perverse local anniversary.

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Down Altsville East to West” by Louis Helbig.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway was the largest industrial project of its time,” he writes. “A feat of unprecedented industrial accomplishment, it eliminated the powerful Long Sault Rapids and opened the Great Lakes to the ocean-going vessels of its era. In the rapids’ place, Lake St. Lawrence became the headwater for a massive hydroelectric dam.”

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Doran Point Buildings in May” by Louis Helbig.

LOUIS HELBIGThe project began purely by accident, while flying over a body of water and looking down, spotting the outlines of architecture in the shallows below:

The first path began in the air in late 2009 when, flying over the St. Lawrence River, I spotted, quite by chance, a rectangular outline in the clear, blue-green water. At first I didn’t quite believe what I thought I was seeing — I had never heard of such a thing as houses, let alone whole communities, under water in Canada and the United States. A few turns later, I found a road and some more foundations; the entire thing snapped into place with a sidelong glance at the dam in the distance between Cornwall, Ontario, Canada and Massena, New York, USA.

Deciding both to memorialize and, in a sense, to warn others about the experience of loss these artificial floods have led to, Helbig’s project is both abstract and documentarian — and, even better, it is currently on display at the Marianne van Silfhout Gallery at St. Lawrence College, so you can see the photos in person. The show closes on November 2.

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Downtown Aultsville” by Louis Helbig.

Browse the lost villages on Helbig’s site, and check out Gizmodo’s own brief survey of drowned towns.

 

Canada water and wastewater systems dilemma

The following article, “Balancing Act – How PC3s may help Canada’s water and wastewater systems given the dilemma faced by municipalities”, by David Caplan, was posted to ReNew Canada on September 3, 2014

IMAGE1


IMAGE2Properly maintained water and wastewater systems underpin our quality of life. Most Canadians are unaware of the poor condition of these systems and the risks associated with our governments’ lack of an adequate plan for long-term sustainability. If not addressed, this negligence will cause economic hardship and may also pose a threat to public health and safety and the environment.

In some municipalities, parts of water systems were built in the 19th century, with some dating back as early  and safety and the environment. as the 1870s.  In the City of Toronto, for example, DIRTY WATERhalf of the water network is at least 50 years old and almost 10 per cent is more than 100 years old. It was reported in May 2014 that 13 per cent of Toronto’s drinking water contained unsafe levels of lead due to the dilapidation of water pipes that were installed in the 1950s.

COSTLYInefficiencies in our water and wastewater systems are costly. On top of the province’s decaying municipal water and wastewater infrastructure, many drinking water distribution systems have leakage rates ranging from 10 to 50 per cent. On average, 25 per cent of every drop of water that is purified and sent through the system is lost through leakage. Municipalities spend a lot of money treating water that will never reach the end user. The impact is multiplied when you consider these systems are the top source of energy consumption for municipalities across Canada. 

CORRODED PIPEThe risks of continued inaction are troubling. Toxic lead pipes, corroded water pipes, and broken sewer pipes are a potential source 
of drinking water contamination. Broken water and wastewater PIPEpipes can contaminate rivers and lakes, making them unsafe for drinking and recreation and threatening wildlife and fish stocks. Broken watermains often cause disruptions in traffic, significant property damage, and substantial costs.

These risks are not hypothetical or worst-case scenarios, but ongoing problems that currently threaten water and wastewater systems in Canada.

FUNDING ESTIMATEThe scale of the infrastructure gap is staggering. Canada’s municipal water infrastructure deficit currently sits at more than $80 billion. Many municipal systems require significant capital investments that most simply don’t have in their annual budgets.

So how do we repair an antiquated system given the financial dilemma faced by municipalities?

With a significant need for investment to update aging infrastructure and lack of budgetary capacity in municipalities to fund it, creative solutions are needed. Although many Canadians are (rightfully) concerned about the retention of public ownership over their water and wastewater systems, solutions that marry the best of public-sector oversight with private-sector financial innovation and technical advances are required.

The question of public versus private ownership of water is divisive. Sustaining and improving water and wastewater systems while retaining public ownership of our water utilities is fundamental to protecting our drinking water and public health. The issue we have today is not with who owns what—but more so who pays for what.

MONEY TREEWith the financing gap, coupled with the concern over public ownership, how do we inject new capital into a sector that has long shuddered in fear of any private involvement?

P3SConsider the example set by the Province of Ontario. Public-private partnerships (P3s) have been used by the Ontario government to inject private capital into the public health care domain for more than a decade. The result has been remarkable. The gap that once existed between the available public funds and the investments required for new and aging hospitals has decreased dramatically. The government, alongside health-care officials, managed to balance the injection of private financing models with the sensitivity over the public ownership of hospitals and health-care facilities.

HEALTH CARE REFORMP3s proved to health-care officials and local municipalities that they would retain ownership over their health care services and transfer financial and related construction risks over to the private sector. This, in turn, protected the taxpayer and ensured that the system is maintained and kept to a higher standard than what currently exists. The utilization of the P3 model also promotes full-system cost recovery and ring-fencing, which protects consumers from financial instability and guarantees that any money generated by the system stays within it to encourage regular re-investment and renewal.

BUDGETBoth full-system recovery and ring-fencing are critical in making the P3 model work for water and wastewater projects as it will help municipalities deal with the current economic conditions that call for tight budgets and decreased spending. The injection of private financing into the system would promote technological innovation that could make Canada one of the world leaders in clean water technology.

  VICTORIAFollowing this example, Canadian municipalities need to consider adapting the P3 model to close the financing gap that currently exists in the water and wastewater sector. Municipalities like Victoria, Edmonton, and Regina are already leading the way in EDMONTONadapting the model for use in the water and wastewater sector.
These municipalities were successful in implementing the P3 model despite fears it would kick-start the privatization of public infrastructure, loosen accountability, and
begin the process of monopolizing water and wastewater entities. REGINAVictoria, Edmonton, and Regina were all able to prove that the P3 model would ensure the retention of public ownership; increase operational and financial transparency; and promote a fair, open, and efficient bidding process.

Regina consequently approved the use of the P3 model for its water and wastewater systems in September 2013, with 57 per cent of the population voting in support of a referendum on the issue. This process proved that a proper explanation and defense of the P3 model is crucial in the early stages of any project that involves a public utility—especially one as galvanizing as water and wastewater.

Those who are critical of applying the P3 model to public utilities claim the push for profit and a solid return on investment will lead to an increase in water rates, decrease in system reliability, and cuts to vulnerable users. However, properly structured and administered contracts provide protection to municipalities and ratepayers.

Putting aside the argument for P3s, it should be apparent that the water and wastewater systems need immediate attention in Ontario and Canada as a whole. Boil-water advisories, broken watermains, lead toxicity, and E. coli outbreaks will continue to occur if we do not address the antiquated water systems crumbling under our feet.

 

David Caplan is the vice-chair of Global Public Affairs.

“The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis” by Gary Wockner

The following article, “The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis” by Gary Wockner and Youtube video, “WKA Peoples Climate March Video 8 19 14″ was posted to Ecowatch.com on Sept. 15, 2014

We’ve seen near-record wildfires, rain, drought, flooding and snowpack in the last 5 years in the watersheds along the Front Range of Colorado. In the same 12 months that record rain has occurred in one part of the Southwest U.S.’ Colorado River basin, record heat and drought has occurred in another.

Climate change is real, is happening now, and the climate crisis is a water crisis.

WATER CRISIS

On Sept. 20 as a part of the People’s Climate March in New York City, I and other colleagues from the international Waterkeeper Alliance we be holding a teach-in, The Climate Crisis is a Water Crisis. We will come from all over the U.S. to tell a story about the link between climate and water, and we will offer our observations and recommendations on the next steps forward.

Here in the Southwest U.S, we must do everything we can to stop from making climate change worse. Unfortunately in Colorado and across the region, our public policies are going the wrong direction—we are drilling, fracking and mining fossil fuels faster than ever before, and we are burning them at record rates. Colorado’s frack-happy politicians and policies only seem to be rivaled by Utah’s deep dive (“carbon bomb”) into oil shale and tar sands mining. We must stop and head the other direction.

We also need to be better prepared to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We will likely see more extreme weather variability, we may see more extreme droughts in the Southwest U.S., and California’s extreme heat and drought going on right now may become a “new normal.”…

Taken from Gary’s post, “Waterkeepers March!” on Ecowatch, Sept. 21, 2014

WATERKEEPERS MARCH

“It was euphoric!

Never in my life have I been in such a mass of humanity as I was today in New York City in the largest climate march in world history. Joining me were 100 members of Waterkeeper Alliance as we marched along with more than 300,000 people through the streets of Manhattan. The march was three times bigger than anyone expected. The day was simply amazing…”

Gary Wockner, PhD, is Waterkeeper for the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins, Colorado, and directs the Save The Colorado River Campaign. You can reach Gary at Gary@GaryWockner.com.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

300,000+ Demand Climate Action Now at Largest Climate March in World History

Naomi Klein on Democracy Now! Discussing Capitalism vs. the Climate

How Climate Change Exacerbates the Spread of Disease, Including Ebola

 

Fun Friday ~ Quirky USA Town Trivia Part 2

The following article, “America’s Quirkiest Towns”,  is the 2nd part of Huffington Posts’ ‘The Blog’ article posted by Katrina Brown Hunt, taken from Travel+Leisure  Sept. 3, 2014.
America’s Quirkiest Towns (PHOTOS)

Paul Stone loves the colorful locals he sees on Boulder, Colorado’s downtown plaza, the no-cars-allowed Pearl Street Mall…
 That double-jointed blend is probably why the Colorado mountain town also made the top 20 for quirky locals, according to Travel + Leisure readers…

No. 8 Charlottesville, VA

8 charlottesville-virginia

Thomas Jefferson certainly had his share of eccentricities, and his old stomping ground has carried on the tradition. The hometown school, UVA (which helped the town rank well for its techy factor), was the alma mater of Edgar Allen Poe, and his dorm room is still preserved behind glass (and no, there doesn’t seem to be a beating heart underneath the floorboards). The town also got high marks for its barbecue—such as the brisket and ribs at Buttz BBQ—but you might see even more local eccentrics at Holy Cow, a vegan restaurant that does a barbecue version of the mythic jackalope (in this case, jackfruit).

No. 9 Bloomington, IN

9 bloomington-indiana-

No one knows exactly where the termHoosiers came from, but these proud Indianans embrace the idea of being a little unpredictable. After all, the midwestern town has been a hotbed for Tibetan Buddhists for decades. You can stroll the gardens at the Dagom Gaden Tensung Ling Buddhist Monastery, or explore the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, established by the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother. To eat like a Tibetan, try the steamed-dumpling momos at Anyetsang’s Little Tibet. And to see why the college town also excelled in beer, check out Upland Brewing Company, popular for its patio, live music, and fabulous sour lambics.

No. 10 Sonoma, CA

10 sonoma-california

Readers love this wine country town because it hasn’t gotten too posh: you’ll still find historic sites, such as General Vallejo’s house from the 1850s, along with contemporary local eccentrics such as the Dancing Jogging Lady, who has her ownFacebook fan page. Sonoma also ranked in the top 10 for its adobe town square—lined with a dozen-plus wine-tasting rooms—as well as its coffee. A good place to hang with the locals is The Epicurean Connection, a café right off Sonoma Plaza that offers local wine, cheese-making classes, and goat-milk lattes.

No. 11 Burlington, VT

11 burlington-vermont

This town on Lake Champlain gave the world the ultimate quirky college band (Phish) as well as Ben & Jerry’s, which started here in a former gas station—and no doubt helped Burlington rank highly in the survey for ice cream. It also scored well for cool souvenirs—like the locally made maple syrups and stuffed Hugg-a-Planets at thePeace and Justice Store—and wine, such as the bottles from East Shore Vineyard. For something quirkier, check out the tasting room for Citizen Cider, which features artisan alcoholic ciders including the AmeriCran, made with fermented cranberries.

No. 12 Lewisburg, WV

12 lewisburg-west-virginia

Any town that names its own performance space Carnegie Hall has confidence, and indeed this Greenbrier County town also scored well in the survey for civic pride. The mountain town’s Civil War past—1862’s Battle of Lewisburg, which the Union won—delivered big points in the history category, and it also ranked highly for historic inns like the General Lewis, which is filled with antiques, Civil War–era tools, and a resident ghost. Come in autumn to join the Zombie 5K, which invites runners to zombie-fy themselves and chase others for motivation. Lewisburg also impressed readers with less-threatening festivities like April’s Chocolate Festival.

No. 13 Tiburon, CA

13 tiburon-california

Once a rowdy railroad town, this Marin County community evolved into an upscale enclave for San Francisco transplants. But walk along its main street and you can explore Ark Row, comprising stores built out of old houseboats. To lounge with the locals—and get great views of the skyline, Angel Island, and Alcatraz—go to the deck ofSam’s Anchor Café, once a hangout for bootleggers (you can still see its escape-route trap door, leading to the water below).

water-droplet

Hope you all enjoyed your armchair travel time with us and have a great weekend ~ we hope you’ll visit again next Friday for the last 7  Quirkiest Towns in America.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

Hayley Todesco, Calgary Alta, wins Stockholm Water Prize

Hayley Todesco, 18, spent two years developing filters that use sand and bacteria to de-toxify oilsands tailings. Much of her work was done in the lab of University of Calgary professor Lisa Gieg, who provided the bacteria and the tailings.

Part 2 ~ “Hayley Todesco wins Google Science Fair”. Please see last Friday’s blog for Part 1 

~ The following article was posted on worldwaterweek.org, Sept. 3, 2014

VICTORIA HANDS ‘JUNIOR WATER PRIZE’ TO CANADIAN

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the v to Hayley Todesco from Canada for inventing a method that uses sand filters to treat oil contaminated water and recover water for reuse.The award ceremony Wednesday was part of the World Water Week in Stockholm.

Waterprijs

The winning entry is a new application of an old water treatment technology that dates back to 1804.  Sand filters have traditionally been used to treat drinking water, however Hayley Todesco   used slow sand filters on contaminated water in oil sands tailing ponds instead… “This year’s winning project addresses a neglected but pressing environmental issue. The entry displays genuine outside the box thinking. Hundreds of hours of self-driven effort achieved a project that excelled in all judging criteria,” the Jury said in its citation. 

“I am shocked but so grateful. I got the idea of using sand filters from a pen pal in Namibia two years ago, and started testing them on wastewater in a tank at home. Now I have just started studying to become a microbiologist and I hope to spend a great deal of time in the lab to continue developing the method”, Hayley Todesco said.

About Stockholm Junior Water Prize

The competition is open to young people between the age of 15 and 20 who have conducted water-related projects at local, regional, national or global levels on topics of environmental, scientific, social and/or technological importance. The aim of the competition is to increase awareness, interest and knowledge of water and the environment. As of this year the board of SIWI has decided to increase the prize sum to the winners and also to institute a new prize. The international winner will from now on receive a USD 15,000 award and a prize sculpture, the winner’s school receives USD 5,000 (new category)…

Hayley Todesco wins Canadian Google Science Fair

Part 1 of  2,  Calgary’s Hayley Todesco wins Canadian Google Science Fair prize

The following excerpt is from, “Filters made from sand and bacteria clean toxic oilsands tailings 14 times faster” posted to CBC News, July 11, 2014, by Emily Chung.

Hayley Todesco, 18, spent two years developing filters that use sand and bacteria to de-toxify oilsands tailings. Much of her work was done in the lab of University of Calgary professor Lisa Gieg, who provided the bacteria and the tailings.

A young woman from Calgary has invented a faster way to clean up toxic waste generated by oilsands extraction, using filters made from sand and bacteria. The new technology has made Hayley Todesco, 18, the Google Science Fair’s regional winner for Canada, Google announced in a news release this week…Todesco says that based on her research, her technique could break down toxic compounds found in oilsands tailings 14 times more quickly than letting them sit, stored in tailings ponds as they mainly are now.

“The significance of these results is the discovery of a sustainable way to decrease the detoxification of tailings ponds from centuries to decades,” she wrote in a summary posted on the Google Science Fair website.

Watch Hayley Todesco’s video about her project Tailings ponds occupied about 176 square kilometres in 2010 or roughly the area of B.C.’s Saltspring Island, according to the environmental think-tank the Pembina Institute. That area is expected to grow to 250 square kilometres by 2020…

Todesco said that having been born and raised in Alberta, she was very aware of this pollution problem. She was trying to think of a science fair project that would help solve it, when she thought back to a demonstration in her Grade 5 class. The class had been raising money to send filters to Africa for drinking water, and a guest speaker helped the students make some from pop bottles and sand. “We put muddy water in the top and it came out totally clean,” Todesco said. When she remembered that, she added, “That’s kind of when I had my eureka moment.”

li-syncrude-620-cp301940A tailings pond reflects the Syncrude oilsands mine facility near Fort McMurray. Such ponds of toxic waste are expected to cover 250 square kilometres by 2020. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Todesco was also interested in biology and bioreactors that use bacteria to break down waste, so she decided to make a bioreactor that incorporated sand, similar to devices invented to clean European sewage in the 19th century. Todesco wanted it to break down naphthenic acid, a major toxic component of oilsands tailings…Lisa Gieg, an assistant professor in biological sciences at the university, agreed to let Todesco work in her lab with the bacteria and tailings they had already collected. Because it was a biology lab, they didn’t have much in the way of supplies for building filters, but they did offer her some tubing…Todesco then began work designing the filters, using aquarium sand, empty IV bags, and other materials she picked up at hardware and dollar stores. Initially, to speed things up, she hooked her system up to a fountain pump from Home Depot, which promptly caused it to overflow…“A few months of work was basically ruined when I turned it on,” she said. “Building and engineering was definitely the hardest part.”

It took her seven months and about 120 tries with different designs to get a working system, which relied on gravity to pull oilsands tailings through sand topped with a film of bacteria in IV bags. In all, it took two years to complete the project, including the experiment and the analysis – she checked naphthenic acid levels in about 100 samples using the lab’s gas chromatograph. Each sample was prepared for analysis in an hour-long procedure that included several minutes of vigorous shaking…In addition to going into the lab for three or four hours after school, she spent her March Breaks there and also missed lots of her Grade 12 classes at Queen Elizabeth Junior Senior High School, which her teachers later allowed her to make up. So it was with much anticipation that she stayed up late to see if her efforts and labour would get recognized by the Google Science Fair regional judges. The regional winners were quietly disclosed online at 1 a.m. ET on June 26.

“I like freaked out and woke my sister up and it was great,” Todesco said. “This is really the height of my recognition for all the work that I’ve done.”

The global finalists will be announced Aug. 6, and will have a chance to compete for prizes including a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Virgin Galactic spaceport and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Hayley TodescoHayley Todesco
Hayley Todesco, 18, has just finished Grade 12 at Queen Elizabeth Junior/Senior High School in Calgary. (Courtesy of Google)

WATER DROPLET1_FOR BLOG ICONPlease see our followup blog next Friday ~ “Hayley Todesco, Calgary Alta, wins Stockholm Water Prize”