Since winning her first gold medal at a regional science fair in grade 6, Mackenzie Finch has been hooked on science.

“I enjoy the whole experience of science fairs,” said Finch. “They help me to see what is happening with science and they also help me to explore universities that specialize in science.”

Over the last four years, Finch’s science endeavors have taken her many places, including Innovation Exploration

This summer Finch’s experiment, a solution for water pollution, part two landed her a spot at the Canada-wide science fair, where Finch took third place. This meant taking home a bronze medal, $300 and a $1,000 scholarship to the University of Western Ontario.

“I was so excited for this win, said Finch, who has been attending regional science fair for the last four years.”

Finch’s win has motivated her to continue on with science fairs and more importantly, Finch is now considering a career in science.

Finch, currently in grade 10, came up with the idea for her winning experiment out of her love for water, the preservation of the environment and waterways.

“For my experiment, I gathered plastic tubs, wallpaper trays, and everyday stream rocks, to simulate a running water system,” said Finch. “I did the experiment in my basement and I was very surprised that my hypothesis was wrong. I thought that the addition of carbon would filter out pollutants, but it didn’t.”

Like every good scientist, Finch used her incorrect hypothesis to grow her own research and interests in the area of water conservation/environmentalism.

Finch is hoping to expand on her latest experiment all the way to university, where she intends to study marine biology.

“I have always loved water and I feel that water animals are often neglected compared to land animals, so going on to study marine biology really excites me,” she said.

Despite winning a $1,000 scholarship to the University of Western Ontario, Finch is hoping to study at the University of Victoria or the University of Calgary.

‘If I keep winning scholarships through science fairs, of course I will also consider attending those schools too,” said Finch.

In addition to her summer winnings, Finch received an honorable mention and a $100 from the 2010 BC Science Teachers Award committee, as well as best intermediate experiment, best women’s experiment and a Chevron environmental award in the last four years.

Finch’s next science fair will be the regional science fair held in Kamloops in May.