HISTORY OF THE PETERBOROUGH FAIR
In 2019 we celebrated our 50th Fair with an incredible party! Cake, ice-cream, popcorn maker, chips, pop, candy, more prizes; everything kids want all at once! Deemed a huge success it might be awhile before we throw another one. Yet it was a perfect time to honour our dedicated students who strive to explore the world of science and share their results. We also acknowledged our sponsors, judges, community members and committee who are proud to share their passion for science.
1970- THE FIRST FAIR
Before 1970, Peterborough students had to compete in the Victoria County Science Fair in Lindsay. In 1969 the winner of that Fair was from St Peters High School in Peterborough and the runner-up was from Thomas A Stewart Secondary School.
The first Peterborough Regional Science Fair had 25 projects and 37 participants in grades 7 to 13 from Peterborough, Northumberland and Durham counties. Yes, there used to be a grade 13! It was a two day event; set-up was Friday night in the Trent University labs, judging Saturday morning and public viewing in the afternoon. The awards ceremony was in Wenjack Theatre on Saturday night.
Chris Parker explains his project to
Dr David Carlisle a judge at the 1st PRSF.
Chris with his project at the 1970 CWSF at McMaster University in Hamilton.
The 1970 fair was sponsored by The Chemical Institute of Canada. Total donations were $325. Expenses were $25 to the Youth Science Foundation and $150 to send a student to the Canada Wide Science Fair CWSF at McMaster University in Hamilton. A balance of $150 remained.
The first director of the PRSF was Dr. Raymond March from the Trent Chemistry department. Some other members of the founding committee were Jim McNabb, a superintendent with the Peterborough school board, Mary Amyotte from Trent, Bob James a teacher from St. Peter's Catholic Secondary School and George Watts a teacher at TASSS.
Now the PRSF sends up-to five participants to the CWSF, in the first few years only the overall winner went. In 1970 that student was Chris Parker, a grade 10 student from TASSS. His project was titled "Effects of Herbicide 2-4-D on Metabolic Rate of Mice". Although Chris did not win any awards at the CWSF, the experience of winning the PRSF and participating in the CWSF played an important role in persuading Chris to continue with his studies despite his challenges. The following quote is from the TASSS hall of fame.
CHRISTOPHER T. PARKER
Graduated Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School 1973; BA (Geology) Queen's University, 1980; Gallaudet College, University for the Deaf, Washington, DC 1982; MA (Special Education) OISE University of Toronto, 1990. Despite a lifetime of failing health, including complete hearing loss, very limited vision and impaired motor abilities, Chris pioneered the use of technical aids to integrate the deaf with the hearing world eg. lobbying for closed-captioning services for Canadian Television, use of cued speech and use of computer aids for full communication in a group setting.
Tell Us Your Stories
Have you been part of the Fair experience? We would love to hear from you! Tell us when you were involved and how it affected you. Any pictures you could supply would be an added bonus. We hope to use some quotations in the Fair Day brochure, the website and at the award ceremony. See our contact information below.