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Exploring New Brunswick

Mer, 2015-05-13 20:12 -- Jessie MacAlpine

Today, finalists got the chance to explore the beautiful New Brunswick wilderness on full-day tours. Buses left bright and early after breakfast and toured students throughout the province, dropping them back at the University of New Brunswick in time for dinner and a fun photo scavenger hunt in the evening.

Finalists were divided into four different tours based on the preferences they selected during registration. The first tour got the chance to explore the Fundy Trail, where students walked along the ocean floor and explored caves, waterfalls and beaches, finishing with lunch in the fishing village of St. Martins. The second tour visited St. Andrews By-the-Sea and St. Stephen, enjoying a hands-on experience about endangered species at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre and a hike along Minister’s Island. The highlight of the tour though was definitely the delicious visit to St. Stephen Chocolate Factory. The third tour allowed students to hike and geocache, exploring local, famous geology and then stopping at the New Brunswick museum in Saint John where students also got the chance to eat and shop. The final tour, which I had the pleasure of attending, was a breathtaking visit to both Cape Enrage and the iconic Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy.

Though it was a cold and rainy day, students made the most of their tours by exploring the unique wildlife and wilderness found here in New Brunswick. During our adventure, we were given guided tours of Cape Enrage's Fossil Beach and Hopewell Rocks where we learned about fascinating marine life and geology. Our bus tour guide, Diane, was lively and knowledgeable and shared all kinds of incredibe facts about the beautiful province we were exploring during our 2.5 hour bus ride to the rocks. As we travelled, we passed mountains, marshes, lakes and forests, spotting all kinds of intriguing wildlife. The lush landscape provided the perfect backdrop to learn about the importance of agriculture and logging in the New Brunswick economy and we learned about the famous McCain family, who produce French fries that are shipped worldwide. We also learned about the Irving family, who employ approximately 25% of New Brunswick’s population in everything from pulp, paper, lumber, shipping, oil refining and farming! As the drive continued, we started to notice an abundance of covered bridges along each of the roads. It turns out, New Brunswick is famous for them! In fact it has both the longest covered bridge in the world and is the only place where you can see two covered bridges at the same time. The city of Sussex is both 'Dairy Town' and the covered bridge capital of the world! Through trivia questions during the drive, students were then able to win prizes of local New Brunswick chocolate and ginger ale and we were all given the chance to try Dulce, a famous and healthy seaweed snack native to the area.

After spending the morning at Cape Enrage exploring Fossil Beach and one of the oldest lighthouses in the Bay of Fundy, we stopped for a nice warm lunch at Broadleaf Guest Ranch where students were delighted to warm-up with soup, sandwiches, coffee and assorted pies. The afternoon was then spent exploring the sea floor and iconic ‘Flower-Pot’ rocks in Hopewell where students marvelled at the incredible geological formations and learned about the physics and unique ecosystem provided by the highest tide in the world. It was an incredible day that definitely ended too soon, New Brunswick is beautiful and I know each of the students enjoyed being able to explore and learn about the super cool ecology found throughout the province. 

After all of the facts we learned today, we might not need a daily fun fact about New Brunswick…but we’ll share one anyways! Did you know the Bay of Fundy is actually home to many sharks? Threshers, makos, porbeagles and even Great White sharks have been spotted in the famous waters!

The Fredericton Forecast is calling for much better weather tomorrow, 19 degrees and sunny! Sounds like a great day for UNBelievable Science experiences in the morning, followed by a chance to share your research with school tours and public viewing all afternoon. The day will then finish off with Camp CWSF where we’ll see the fantastic hidden talents of many of our participants. We hope you enjoyed your tours today and look forward to hearing more about your projects tomorrow!

On a final note, for anyone attending public viewing for the first time tomorrow, here are a few tips for questions you can ask the students about their research. If this is going to be your first science fair, it can be a bit overwhelming, so here are a few questions to help get your scientific conversations started! 

1. Where did you get the idea for your project?

2. What was the most challenging part of completing your work?

3. What are the next steps for your research?

Public viewing will take place from 1-8pm tomorrow at the Richard J. Currie Centre at the University of New Brunswick. We hope to see you there! 



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