November 17, 2023 (Cornwall, ON) – Afaq Virk, a Grade 12 student at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School (CCVS) and one of the current Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Student Trustees, is garnering international attention on his science fair project about assistive technology.
Virk made waves at the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) in Edmonton last Spring. His project is aimed at advancing the field of assistive technology in developing a device that uses principles of echolocation and acoustics to assist visually impaired individuals in navigating their environment. This innovation promises to address challenges and significantly improve the quality of life for those with visual impairments.
Virk’s incredible work earned him several prestigious awards at the CWSF, including a qualifying ticket to the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology (MILSET) Expo-Sciences International in Puebla, Mexico, where he was one of 22 students selected to represent Canada.
This international event, held Oct. 21-27, brought together young minds from around the world to collaborate and showcase their knowledge in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). Virk, who presented the same project as at the CWSF, and his Canadian representatives earned the prize for the best delegation.
Virk’s ability to speak 10 different languages made his experience at the event even more remarkable, as he was able to practice his linguistic talents and contribute to international collaboration.
“The MILSET Expo-Sciences International was a wonderful learning experience for me,” says Virk. “I’d like to thank Mr. Marshall and Ms. McDonnell for all their support and encouragement during this amazing opportunity.”
“Afaq is the first student I’ve ever had travel to MILSET in my 15 years as Chair of the Science Fair,” says Jason Marshall, St. Lawrence Secondary School (SLSS) Teacher and Chair of the Science Fair Committee in Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. “He is a resourceful young man and sought out this journey on his own.” Marshall completed a letter of recommendation for Virk and shares his immense pride in Virk’s representation of Canada and the UCDSB.
“His achievements serve as an example of what dedicated students can accomplish when given the chance to shine,” adds Marshall. “His passion for innovation and dedication to creating solutions that improve lives is inspirational.”
Virk is hoping to expand on this project in the future at other science-related events.