Community Connections | Inclusion, Citizen Engagement, Children And Youth
Living Standards | Education And Learning

Calgary Youth Science Fair Society

Calgary’s youth are improving our world, one science fair project at a time - from reducing environmental toxins to exploring safer travel with adaptive wheels.The Calgary Youth Science Fair helps students discover passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Our Story

Why We Exist

Where would our world be without Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)?

There would be no Internet or iPhone. Online purchasing or e-Learning wouldn’t exist. Developing vaccines for viruses such as Ebola or Zika would be nearly impossible. The face of our world, and our daily lives, would be considerably different today.

The Calgary Youth Science Fair (CYSF) inspires youth to discover their potential in these STEM fields, attracting bright hardworking students to grow their great ideas into initiatives they can take into the larger world.

Discovery starts with the grain of an idea driven by curiosity that when pursued evolves into solving real issues that have meaningful impacts on the world around us.

It’s essential that we nurture and encourage these ideas, no matter how big or small.

Because they will very likely one day touch our lives in a very significant way.


Aspiring young scientists, engineers and problem solvers become engaged STEM leaders through encouragement and opportunity.

Dr. Breanne Everett, CYSF Alum 1997-2002

“I really owe where I am today to the experience I gained with participating in the science fair,” says Dr. Breanne Everett who entered science projects ranging from exploring a butterfly’s attraction to color through to researching breast cancer indicators. “The CYSF has absolutely impacted my career and really gave me an appreciation for science, the scientific method, and the desire to explore new ideas and concepts.”

Dr. Everett is now the founder and CEO of Orpyx Medical Technologies, a company that helps those with diabetic nerve damage track their foot health more effectively to prevent foot ulcers.

Kelcie Miller-Anderson, CYSF Alum 2005-2012

“CYSF gave me an opportunity to explore my passion for science and taught me about the importance of innovation,” says Kelcie Miller-Anderson who at the age of 15 began developing an in-situ method to treat tailings water in the oil industry using oyster mushrooms. Her idea stemmed from her natural curiosity when seeing a single dandelion growing up through pavement as she wondered how it could be there.

“I just founded my first company, MycoRemedy, that is based on my research from my 10th and 12th grade science fair projects. We’ve already secured our first round of investment and are projected to be remediating our first sites in 2016. It’s crazy to think that it all started with a high school science fair project!”

Our Impact

What We Do

Every April (since 1962!), we bring together the vivid imaginations of nearly 1,000 students in Grades 5-12 to showcase their ingenuity by participating in the science fair and wondering how things work.

Asking why, thinking – what if it was better?

And then applying the scientific method to dig for answers. In collaboration with Calgary and area schools, we provide a fun science fair experience where students:

  • Interact with their peers
  • Explore their interests
  • Grow their knowledge
  • Acquire real life skills such as critical thinking and creative problem solving
  • Are acknowledged for thinking, differently
  • Gain greater insights into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that’s all around them

Through the discovery process, students deepen their realization that they have the ability to make real contributions to improve our world in areas such as:

  • Detoxifying our environment using an innovative sand filter
  • Gaining insights into how human cells function to help improve our health
  • Reducing micro plastics in our waterways
  • Exploring safer travel with a wheel that adapts to changing terrain

The knowledge, friends, mentors and discoveries made along the way become lifelong experiences they’ll always remember and carry with them throughout their careers.

2016 Annual Report Highlights:

  • We hosted over 900 students representing over 700 projects with 550 volunteer judges. With 54 years of history, we host one of the largest science fairs in Canada.
  • With Calgary’s economic uncertainty, we worked above and beyond to meet our benchmark of an exceptional science experience for our students. The Fair remained a high quality, enriching, and overall excellent experience for students, volunteers, and donors.
  • Canada Wide Science Fair 2016 was held in Montreal this year, and twelve finalists from our Fair participated. Team Calgary brought home 4 gold medals, 4 silver medals, 3 bronze medals, 24 scholarships and 6 awards (incl. Best Junior Project), $45,000 award value.


Our Programs

How We Do It

Amazingly, the Calgary Youth Science Fair is 100% volunteer-run. It’s where curiosity meets the imagination that inspires discovery and drives innovation.

The magical science fair formula is a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) combined with:

4 Days in April  +  Nearly 1,000 Grade 5-12 Students  +  Over 700 Science Fair Projects

+  100 Awards  +  Over 500 Medals +  550 Dedicated Judges +  80 Passionate Volunteers

+  Generous Sponsors & Donors  +  $200,000 Annual Fundraising Budget

+  Imagination  +  Ingenuity  +  Innovation

CYSF  +  Amazing Discoveries & Innovations Solving Real World Issues.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

Since she was 10, Hayley Todesco has been passionate about environmental issues. At the age of 16, Hayley wondered if she could find a way to accelerate the detoxification of the tailings ponds in Alberta. So she spent two years designing and testing the effectiveness of sand filters on the biodegradation of toxic naphthenic acids such as those found in the oilsands.

  • “Application of these inexpensive and sustainable bioreactors could significantly accelerate the detoxification of Canada’s oilsands,” explained Hayley Todesco. Conventional bioreactors would take over 200 years to cleanse the tailings from the naphthenic acids. With her new system using sand filters and a biofilm, it could biodegrade them significantly faster taking only 19 years rather than centuries. Hayley is currently refining her designs and pursuing pilot project opportunities in the oil industry.

Hayley also reached international recognition with her 2014 CYSF science fair project by winning the senior age category and a $25,000 scholarship at the 2014 Google Science Fair beating out her competitors from around the world.

As of September 2016, Hayley is now in her third year studying microbiology at the University of Alberta. Hayley Todesco – CYSF Alum 2007-2014

There are many ways you can be part of CYSF’s legacy!

The CYSF is made possible every year through  people, companies and organizations like you. You can be a young scientist’s catalyst. Invest in the brilliance of these future leaders today!

Sponsor.  Donate.  Volunteer. Visit the Science Fair.  Spread the Word.

1.  Sponsor Youth Brilliance

Inspire science discovery. We will work with you to meet your sponsorship objectives and connect you to the scientific world through the eyes of our youth.

Please contact us at

2.  Donate – Be Their Catalyst

Students participating in the CYSF have been making science discoveries for over 50 years. Join with our generous CYSF Donors to continue this incredible legacy!

Make your contribution by visiting our website at or to learn more, please send us an email at

3. Provide Gifts In-kind

We look forward to sharing our CYSF Wish List with you. Student awards, medals, printing, video, exhibiting services, and graphic design as well as other items and professional services are welcomed!

To inquire about providing a gift-in kind, please contact us at

4.  Volunteer

Let us know your talents and interests and we’ll find a volunteer opportunity that’s perfect for you!

  1. Sign up to be a Judge, we need 550 every April!
  2. Mentor Calgary students to give them a positive experience.
  3. Volunteer at the science fair. You’ll be amazed at what you learn.
  4. Offer your professional services. We need website design, videography, photography and graphic design, just to name a few!

You’ll feel younger (and smarter!) by osmosis just by being involved. And one day you’ll likely benefit from the students’ brilliance too! We look forward to hearing from you. Please email us at

5.  Attend the Science Fair!

Add the CYSF to your calendar every April; it’s open to the public on the Saturday and free to attend! Show your interest to support these amazing students. They’re eager to share all they’ve learned and you’ll be mesmerized by their ingenuity! The science fair schedule is available at

6.  Spread the Word

Help us spread the CYSF amazingness – the ideas are endless!

  • Connect us to the media, write an article to your local community association newspaper or feature us in your company’s corporate social responsibility program.
  • Tweet, Instagram, Facebook and Link us! Reach out to your social networks to share the CYSF amazingness with your family and friends.  @ScienceFairCYSF

Tell them how Calgary’s youth are improving our world, one science project at a time. Like Hayley Todesco – a scientist, innovator and leader in her field.


Stay Connected


Vanessa Davidson

Calgary Youth Science Fair Society


Charitable Number: 139126999RR0001

Visit Our Website

Annual Operating Budget: