Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, from on-board the International Space Station, speaks to students attending the Canada-wide science fair in Fredericton on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett)

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, from on-board the International Space Station, speaks to students attending the Canada-wide science fair in Fredericton on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett)

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques announces winners of science contest from space

Saint-Jacques spoke via a live video link from the space station orbiting 400 kilometres above earth

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques took time from his busy schedule on the International Space Station Wednesday to encourage young students to pursue science — telling them they are the future.

Hundreds of students from across Canada are gathered in Fredericton this week for the 2019 Canada-Wide Science Fair at the University of New Brunswick.

Saint-Jacques spoke to the students via a live video link from the space station orbiting 400 kilometres above earth.

“Remember, our future is in the hands of young people like you, everybody in the audience, people who want to make a difference. You can make a difference. You are the future,” he said.

READ MORE: Astronaut David Saint-Jacques joins select group, just fourth Canadian to perform spacewalk

Saint-Jacques announced the winners of the Little Inventors — Inventions for space contest.

More than 3,000 students entered the contest, but Connor Brown from Acton, Ont., and Amy Claerhout of Beaumont, Alta., both Grade 7 students, were selected the winners.

Brown designed different imprints for the bottom of space boots to identify the footprints of different astronauts on the moon or other planets.

“Most boots have the same zigzag pattern on the bottom of the sole. But with my idea, astronauts can see their designed boot imprint marks on the moon. With my invention we can also tell which imprint belongs to who,” Brown told the audience.

Saint-Jacques said he thought it was a very creative idea.

“And you know Canada has joined a group of nations to go back to the moon and we’ll need boots for that. So maybe your invention will have a future. Keep thinking and keep inventing,” he said.

Amy Claerhout designed a mini Canadarm for the washroom on the space station to keep personal hygiene items such as brushes, tweezers and tooth brushes from floating away.

Saint-Jacques said it was an item that would be very useful because the astronauts on the space station have things float away all the time.

Claerhout said she was amazed that Saint-Jacques spoke directly to her and knew who she was.

Both students said they would like to see their inventions put to use, and will follow their interest in science.

About a dozen students from across the country got the opportunity to ask Saint-Jacques questions ranging from “What happens to fizzy liquids like soda pop in space?” to questions about growing food in space, and how to encourage the next generation of thinkers in Canada.

Reni Barlow, executive director of Youth Science Canada said a lot has changed at student science fairs over the years and the ideas from students are more complex than volcanoes made with vinegar and baking soda.

“Primarily it’s because they want to help people. They are passionate about a particular question. They want to make the world a better place. They are not afraid to tackle challenging problems and bigger questions and to go out and find the answers and the resources to come up with some pretty amazing projects,” he said.

Barlow said many of the students are interested in topics like politics and climate change.

“Students are very tuned in to the global problems and local problems and they want to make a difference,” he said.

At the start of the brief event with the students, the International Space Station was over the northern Pacific Ocean and was south of Africa by the time it was complete.

Saint-Jacques arrived on the space station last December for a six-and-a-half month mission, which has included a space walk.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

This woman is one of two people the Agassiz RCMP are asking for assistance in identifying after a string of alleged thefts in Popkum. (Agassiz RCMP)
Agassiz RCMP ask for help to identify suspects in Popkum thefts

Images of the two suspects were captured on surveillance footage between Jan. 10 and 16

Empty Royal Hotel windows are seen on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 along Main Street in downtown Chilliwack. They will soon be home to an upcoming project called Art on Main. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Local talent sought for ‘Art on Main’ display in downtown Chilliwack

Art on Main a way for local artists to display work in windows of Chilliwack’s Royal Hotel

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read