Local Student Success Story: William Stratton

Via BC Gov News:

William Stratton

Photo Courtesy of BC Govt News

William Stratton is a Grade 12 student currently attending Gold River Secondary school on North Vancouver Island.

Last year, this talented young man won the $2,000 BCIC Young Innovator Scholarship for his work building a steam-powered miniature working copy of a Stirling engine using a pop can. A Stirling engine is a heat engine that operates by repeated compression and expansion of air or other gases at different temperatures.

The BCIC awards are handed out to grades 11 and 12 students who have developed a science and technology innovation with the potential to benefit the province.

Will’s successful project led him to the regional science fair where he placed second overall. Because of his accomplishments, he was selected to represent the North Island in the Canada Wide Science Fair in New Brunswick last May.

Although he did not receive an award this year, he made quite an impression on all the judges with the engine he built. He received positive feedback from the judges, who were extremely impressed with his in-depth knowledge about engines.

Will is originally from Sooke. After he graduates this summer, he will be return back to south Vancouver Island to attend Camosun College in Victoria, where he is enrolled in the highly sought-after mechanical engineering program.

Will’s abstract for the Canada Wide Science Fair –

“The Stirling engine is an interesting machine, which operates through the expansion and contraction properties of air. These engines require a significant thermal differential in order to function. I wanted to study the different forms of the Stirling engine with the hopes of creating a viable prototype. A Stirling engine’s ability to pump fluids has interesting applications in the medical field.”

Katrina Kornylo, teacher and Will’s science fair mentor, Gold River Secondary

“Will is a very unique student who has an amazing ability to problem solve any situation. He does not get frustrated easily and will continue trying different approaches to solve a problem. He will make a remarkable engineer one day.”

(Thank you to Jerry West of The Record.)

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Urgent – Homestays Needed for Korean students studying with SD 84

Homestays - Notice for Gold River

The deadline is fast approaching
If you are at all interested in hosting 1 or 2 Korean students in grades 5,6, and 7 but have hesitations please contact Philip Parkes at 250-898-9160 or 250-283-2538 or through FB or by email pparkes [at] viw [dot] sd84 [dot] bc [dot] ca We can help provide solutions to make the homestays work. Hosts are paid $1000/ based on 2 students.
For information online and applications go to: http://www.sd84.bc.ca/international-program-schooldistrict84 and apply today!
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P.A.R.T.Y Program Helps Educate GRSS Students on Risky Behaviour


Via Rhonda Callow, Gold River Volunteer Fire Department

If you drove past the Village Office parking lot on the morning of April 26th you probably saw some first responder action going on and wondered what was happening. It’s not often you can see emergency vehicles and teenagers being carried away on stretchers and think, “good, I hope they learned from this.” But if you witnessed this event, that’s exactly what you could think.

Local first responders and health care providers teamed up with the P.A.R.T.Y Program (which is an acronym for Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) to give GRSS students a glimpse into what happens when they choose to be involved in risky behaviour. The P.A.R.T.Y Program’s mission statement sums up the morning’s events perfectly, “To promote injury prevention through vivid clinical reality, enabling youth to recognize risk, make informed choices and identify potential consequences about activities and behaviours.”

GRSS students were divided into four groups and rotated through interactive stations, following the path of a trauma patient.

Crash Scene

Paramedics, first responders from the fire department, and two volunteer students demonstrated a crash scene scenario where two kids were out on their quad, drinking, and crashed into a tree. One teen was impaled by the handlebars of the quad while the other was ejected from the vehicle, hit a tree and was unresponsive with an obvious head wound. GRSS students watched as paramedics and first responders worked together to try to stabilize, treat, and transfer the youth into the waiting ambulance. Given the lack of cell service in Gold River and the intricate network of backroads in and around the area, it was explained to students that it could be a very long wait for help to arrive, especially if they’re unable to flag down help themselves or if they need to wait for Search & Rescue to arrive from Campbell River.

Trauma Room and Morgue

Over at the Gold River Health Clinic, students visited the trauma room where nurses showed them what efforts and equipment would go into saving the patients’ lives, as well as explaining what it would look and feel like to be a trauma patient. Students also saw the morgue, where their peers would end up if they were unable to be resuscitated.


At the school board office, students learned what life might look like if they were left with a permanent brain or spinal cord injury. After listening to a recording of a brain-injured teen to understand how difficult it can be to communicate, students attempted to fill in a simple form while looking in a mirror, simulating the disconnection between the brain and hands when suffering from a brain injury. To further demonstrate the loss of motor control, students also attempted to button up a shirt using a specialized device while wearing mittens.

Consequences/RCMP Station

Students were given the opportunity to listen to and engage with the RCMP, learning additional implications of the decisions they make. They talked about the consequences of drinking and driving, as well as distracted driving. Also in attendance was an ICBC representative who brought along a video simulator which allowed students to experience what happens when you’re distracted while driving – one scenario, for example, had a dog running out into the street, while another had cell phones ringing.


Below are several photos from the P.A.R.T.Y Program event. Our hope—as emergency personnel, community members, and parents—is that students will learn from this experience and make smart choices when is comes to taking risks.

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