Barton farmer student wins silver at national science fair

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley
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Thian Carman has done it again.

The young Barton farmer, Nova Scotia’s youngest farmer, he of the musical eggs fame, perennial winner of the regional heritage fair, Thian has won another prize.

This time he has come back from Ottawa, from the Canadian National Science Fair with a silver medal and a $2,000 scholarship to Western University.

Of the 463 finalists from across Canada, three won platinum medals, 33 won gold medals, 60 won silver and 120 won bronze.

“This is the top award I’ve won so far,” says Thian. “When you qualify for nationals, that puts you in the top 1 per cent of science students in Canada who participate in a science fair, when you get a medal that puts you in the top half a per cent.”

Thian was in Ottawa for a week from May 10 to 17 with 40 students from Nova Scotia. The first part of the week he presented his project to school groups and took part in various science seminars and workshops.

The judging took a whole day, the next day they had off to explore Windsor and on the last day they attended the awards ceremony.

“It’s pretty exciting when you hear your name and see your picture up on the screen,” he said. “I jumped right up. It’s cool when you think it was my first time there and I won a medal.”

First time. That’s right. Thian is making plans to go back.

“Yes, I’m definitely going to try to go again,” he said. “Next year is in Fredericton and the year after that is Montreal. It’d be really cool to go Montreal.”

Musical eggs

Thian’s experiment involved subjecting ten chickens in individual cages to country music and classical music to see if it made a difference in the size of the eggs.

The eggs weighed on average 4 to 5 grams heavier when the hens listened to classical music and they were 0.2 to 0.3 cm longer.

The judges, he said, suggested expanding on his current project next year, experimenting with different types of music and white noise; using more chickens, and making other adjustments to the experiment.

He said lots of competitors return in back-to-back years with improved projects.

Thian said it was pretty impressive company.

“One guy invented a 3D printer that printed plastic prosthetics for people,” he said. “Last year the winner had a cure for bone cancer that they are using now, and I’m playing music to chickens.”

The top project winner this year, 16-year-old Daniel McInnis of Ottawa, won a $10,000 cash prize from Blackberry, plus another $5,000 for having the best senior project, and a $5,000 scholarship to the University of Windsor.

Thian says the whole musical egg thing has been good for business.

“People are coming now just to buy my musical eggs,” he said. “It’s cool – people want my eggs and they want to meet me.”

It seems there is more to come.

“We just heard today,” started his mother before Thian cut her off.

“We can’t talk about that yet,” said Thian. “It hasn’t been announced yet.”

jriley@digbycourier.ca

Organizations: Canadian National Science Fair, Western University, University of Windsor

Geographic location: Ottawa, Nova Scotia, Canada Montreal Fredericton

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