Ella Chan, grade 12 student at Glenlyon Norfolk School, is the first B.C. student to recieve the STEAM Horizon award. (FILE CONTRIBUTED)

GNS student first in B.C. to nab national science scholarship

Ella Chan granted $25,000 after winning the STEAM Horizon Award

It’s not every Grade 12 student that spends their free time creating educational videos or writing children’s books, but for Ella Chan it’s all part of her passion for science.

The Glenlyon Norfolk School student just became the first B.C. student to receive the STEAM Horizon award, a national scholarship awarded to youth who promote positive changes in their community using science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

The scholarship allots five recipients per year $25,000 to put towards post-secondary education, and Chan knows exactly what she wants to do.

“Next year I will be going to UBC and starting the Science One program,” she said. “After that I want to pursue pharmacology.”

Ella Chan, grade 12 student at Glenlyon Norfolk School, creates educational videos on for kids on YouTube. This was part of the reason she has become the first B.C. student to recieve the STEAM Horizon award. (YouTube/Sci Files)

Chan became interested in the sciences after her younger brother was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a potentially debilitating kidney disease.

“I was 12 when my brother was diagnosed,” she said. “Hearing how his condition worked and learning that there wasn’t a lot of treatment options or research into the disease really inspired me to pursue science.”

Since then Chan has run a YouTube channel called Sci Files, which aims to educate children about science. She also helped produce a video for NephCure, the non-profit organization promoting research and awareness for nephrotic syndrome.

Chan said she gets good responses to her productions.

“Sometimes students use the videos to explore something they’re learning, or teachers use the experiments I’ve posted. It’s amazing to see people using my channel and learning.”

Chan also wrote an illustrated children’s book called STEM Files, which explores the topics of science, technology, engineering and math for kids.

“She’s very self-guided, we don’t really have to push her,” said her father, Tony Chan.

“Sometimes we try to discourage her from pushing herself so hard,” he added with a laugh.

Ella was encouraged by her teachers to apply for the award, but didn’t think she would get it.

“I was really shocked and it’s just amazing,” she said.

When asked how she manages to balance everything involved in a teenager’s life, along with all of her science-related activities, Chan laughed.

“It’s just time management. I find with the sciences, it’s something that I love to do, so I can always make time for it.”

Chan will start at UBC this September. She also received the UBC Major Entrance Scholarship for $40,000 and the BC Excellence Scholarship worth $5,000.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Marijuana-related business requires rezoning in Oak Bay

Council plans to add cannabis laws to priorities list

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Esquimalt senior’s complex getting redeveloped

The Esquimalt Lions Lodge is one of the projects to receive funding for affordable housing

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Federal environment minister faces protesters in B.C.

Catherine McKenna defended her government’s environmental record during a funding announcement in Victoria

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Most Read