Theresa DeCola is a Grade 11 student from Belleville, Ontario. Theresa has been actively involved with science and technology for a number of years, participating in her first science fair in fourth grade. In the eight years in which Theresa has competed at her regional science fair she has presented projects on a range of topics, from agriculture to mathematics and physics to biology and even astronomy. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Theresa attended the Canada Wide Science Fair winning two silver, two bronze and two special awards. Her first two projects focused using solar sails as a method to travel to Mars, whereas her second two projects revolved around Dreissenid Mussels.
Invasive Dreissenid mussels, which originated in the Ukraine and Eurasia, have invoked major changes within North American waterways. In Theresa’s projects she used a variety of samples to show the effect of Dreissenid Mussels on the naturally occurring nutrient cycles in the Bay of Quinte. Theresa was also able to demonstrate that Dreissenid Mussels are capable of bio-accumulating Microcystin, which is a cyanotoxin that can be found within cyanobacteria. Theresa showed her research as the youngest scientist at both the 47th Central Canadian Symposium on Water Quality Research, as well as the 2014 Ontario Water Works Association Joint Annual Conference and Trades Show. Science is a passion of Theresa’s however in her spare time she enjoys a variety of other activities.
Theresa actively participates on her school’s student council, her school board’s student senate, and will be serving on the 2014 Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board’s Accessibility Council. Aside from working part time and school, Theresa enjoys volunteering. She volunteers with a variety of activities ranging from educating citizens about water quality with her local ‘Doors Open Quinte’ event to planning her schools Relay for Life. Theresa was also one of the fifty Canadian students selected to be part of Microsoft’s Innovate for Good event, which focused on social change. Recently Theresa’s volunteerism has been recognized, and she was a recipient of the 2014 Potash Food Security Youth Trip Scholarship. This summer Theresa will be traveling to rural India to volunteer in local schools, promote sustainable agriculture, and help in the community. Despite the fact that Theresa does not know what she wishes to peruse after secondary school, she knows it will certainly be in the field of science.
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