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Virginie Blanchett co-presents the “Scientific Development” award at the Quebec Indigenous Science Fair

Virginie Blanchett co-presents the “Scientific Development” award at the Quebec Indigenous Science Fair

last november, Virginie Blanchettprofessor at Department of Physical Activity Sciences From the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR) and podiatrist, he went to Ivojevik communityin North du Québec, to present the “Scientific Development” Award toNoviti School. This award is presented by the University of Quebec as part of the Exhibition des Sciences Aboriginales Quebec (ESA-Quebec), and represents a tangible commitment to First Peoples. This award includes a visit from a researcher from the University of Quebec network as well as a personalized plaque for the winning team.

This school won this award during the last edition ofESA-QuebecWhich was held at the University of Laval in 2023, thanks to the scientific project of a team composed of Siasi Naluyuk, Emilie Kisualuk and Elisabe Aynalik. Their project, titled “Slippery Skins,” caught the judges’ attention, particularly because of the close connections between their project and Inuit culture. This same team also won the ‘Cultural Heritage’ award from ESA-Quebec, and this was highlighted again in front of their peers during Virginie Blanchett’s visit. Science teacher Nelly Dufek accompanied them on their project and experiment.

The winning students (from left to right) Elisabe Aynalik, Siyasi Naluyuk and Emilie Kiswaluk accompanied by Virginie Blanchet with the “Scientific Development” award from the Universities of Quebec.

The visit to Noviti allowed Professor Blanchet to meet several classes in French or English with seven presentations during the day. She talked about her career as a researcher and her passion for science and the scientific method, especially through her research on the complications of diabetes in the feet. She also attracted the attention of the students by bringing samples of human bones (leg and foot) and presented a scientific reflection workshop related to traditional shoes kamik. “I hope I can motivate them to pursue a career in science or health and stimulate their scientific curiosity,” says the University of Queensland researcher. The day concluded with an awards ceremony in the school gymnasium, in front of all students, teachers and staff present at the time.

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This visit also led to discussions with local actors and allowed us to learn more about this community and the local reality. This meeting between Evojevic’s students and Virginie Blanchet was amazing and she hopes that the students will participate in the next edition of ESA-Québec, which will be held at the University of Quebec in the Outaouais in March 2024.

“We have beautiful, smart children,” Sylvie Rossi, principal of Noviti School, said several times. Virginie Blanchett agrees without hesitation, adding: “They have bright eyes, beautiful smiles, and amazing ideas. It was an honor to be welcomed into this school and this community. I met exceptional people there and had a unique and unforgettable life experience. »

Professor Virginie Blanchet from the University of Queensland is pictured here with students from the Novviti School in Ivojivik who won caps in the University of Queensland colors during her visit.

Quebec Indigenous Science Fair

Since 1998, ESA-Québec has been an annual event held at an indigenous community or educational institution in Quebec. It is organized byQuebec Association of Indigenous Sciences and Engineering (AQASI)Its mission is to promote science and engineering among Indigenous youth attending schools located in First Nations and Inuit communities in Quebec. It is directed to fifth-year studentsH Primary grade to 5H Year of high school. Young participants present projects related to, among other things, the environment, health, energy, natural resources and communications.

“I have been involved with the Indigenous Science Fair since it was organized at Queensland University of Technology in 2020, an edition that was canceled after the spread of COVID-19, but resumed in 2021. I have also been a judge since that day and I find it is an obligation “Towards the community that makes me grow. I have always loved youth work, having done it in my student jobs. It is really refreshing to be able to interact with young people, to see their scientific ideas connected to indigenous culture, and to get away from my usual daily life as a researcher,” says Virginie Blanchett “It is really very enriching for me, and allows me to be more inclusive in my research to help all Quebecers,” she and her collaborators published earlier this year. Research project Regarding complications related to diabetic foot among indigenous people in Canada.

Virginie Blanchett at Ivojevik Airport before her departure.

Finalement, Virginie Blanchette souhaite remercier publiquement toutes les impliquées dans le visite à Ivujivik, que ceit pour la preparation ou l’accompagnement, dont Thomassie, Milena, Sylvie, Nelly (and others outside), these colleges from the UQTR, dont Professors Isabelle Desganier-Penix (Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics) And Hughes Leblond (Department of Anatomy), Anthony Caron, an Indigenous student support advisor at the Queensland University of Technology, and finally Yves-Lynn Rondeau, director of the Indigenous Project at Universities Quebec.

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