Saturday May 14 - We began our trip to CWSF 2016 bright and early Saturday morning. Our flight left Winnipeg at 5am with most of the other Manitoba regions on board as well. We arrived in Montreal and received an enthusiastic welcome from the host committee. We were quickly bussed to the dorms at McGill University and we took a bit of time to get settled and have lunch on campus. After lunch we walked down to Rue Sainte-Catherine to do some exploring. We had supper back on campus and then called it a night after a very busy day!
Sunday May 15 - We got to sleep in until 7 AM on Sunday, then we were off to breakfast so we could get an early start on project set up. Lucas, Chase, and Christopher got their projects set up and safety checks done in the morning and then it was time for lunch on campus. After lunch we met up with ALL of the other Manitoba regions to give the finalists a chance to meet each other! Since our projects were set up we had a few hours of free time in the afternoon. We walked downtown to a boulangerie then we headed to a charcuterie, and game store. We got back to campus just in time to head to the Opening Ceremony. It was fantastic! We started with some opening remarks, student, delegate and judges pledges and then all of the participants were piped up the path and into the venue. Dinner was "Flavours of Montreal" and included poutine, smoked meats, caramel cake, waffles and maple syrup and much more! Dinner was followed by some amazing local dancers and musicians. It was a wonderful way to kick off what I'm sure will be a fantastic week!
Monday May 16 - The finalists were up early this morning to be down to the exhibit hall by 8:30 for judging. They spent the morning presenting their projects to experts in their fields. While the students were at judging I attended delegate meetings. I am pleased to announce that at one of the meetings, our WMSF chair Trevor Maguire was elected to the Youth Science Canada Board! Lunch was a BBQ served in the McConnell Arena, and it was a nice break for students before returning to the hall for the afternoon portion of judging. After a long, stressful day, the students had a chance to relax at the Molson Stadium. We all enjoyed delicious food served from a variety of food trucks - the favourites were burgers and poutine. We enjoyed tons of activities through the evening before heading back to the dorms to get rested up for tour day!
Tuesday May 17 - We had a fantastic tour day today! We took a double decker bus tour of the city where we got to see tons of historic buildings, The Village, The Latin Quarter, Festival Quarter, and Mount Royal park, from the upper deck of the bus. We also got off the bus and explored Old Port, walked through Notre Dame Basilica, walked the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, walked up the 300 stairs to the Upper Deck of Saint Joseph's Oratory, enjoyed lunch in Old Montreal and even looked around the market. Eight hours and 12 km of walking later we were back on campus ready for a night of activities in the McConnell Arena. Tuesday night's dinner and activities were titled 'Sucrerie sur la Montagne' where we had delicious food, great music, 'Tire sur la Neige', and we even got a lesson on playing the spoons! The finalists are looking forward to hearing from Chris Hadfield on Wednesday morning before the first of over 10,000 visitors come to tour the exhibit hall!
Wednesday May 18 - Wednesday morning started early - we needed to get breakfast finished at the dining hall in time to get down to Fieldhouse in time to get great seats for the Keynote Speaker CHRIS HADFIELD. Wow! He is an amazing, inspirational speaker. One message that really stuck with us, and relates so well to what all the finalists here are doing was; "as soon as you get to the edge of your understanding, your curious mind kicks in". The finalists spent the remainder of the day sharing their projects with students from Montreal as well as the public. They also got a chance to participate in 'Mini McGill' where they did hands on activities at different facilities on campus. They were also able to take in some of the speakers that are here for the remainder of the week. After a long day, we finished the evening off by watching the talent show where we saw some amazing young people perform! Another great day in Montreal!
Thursday May 19 - Thursday was another busy day here in Montreal. This morning was spent presenting projects during school/public viewing as well as exploring the Discovery Zone in the exhibit hall and taking in some speakers on the podium. Once public viewing was done we enjoyed a quick lunch and then got ready for the awards ceremony. The awards ceremony was held at the St. Denis Theatre and was a great celebration of the achievements of all of the finalists. After the ceremony we were bussed back to campus for dinner and the Much Music Video Dance. Another wonderful day at CWSF 2016!
Friday May 20 - Friday morning was the last round of Public viewing. We also got to take in some of the presentations in the 'On the Podium' speaker series. At 12:00 the projects started coming down. Lucas, Chase, and Chris got their projects down and boards checked in record breaking time and then it was off to lunch. We had a few hours of free time after lunch so we hiked to one of the 3 peaks of Mount Royal for a fantastic view of the city! We are looking forward to an evening boat cruise on the St. Lawrence tonight!