Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

May 15, 2014 16:02 ET

Saskatoon Student Wins Manning Innovation Achievement Award at 2014 Canada Wide Science Fair

WINDSOR, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 15, 2014) - A successful Science Fair effort to test water-based extracts of spices and honey to prevent the spread of a fungal disease called Fusarium head blight earned Deeksha Kundapur, 16, a $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award at the 53rd annual Canada Wide Science Fair held this week at the University of Windsor.

Kundapur, a Grade 11 student at Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon, developed novel antifungal compounds derived from tamarind and garlic extracts. Her project also won the Senior Excellence Bronze Medal, and her choice of entrance scholarships to two Canadian universities.

"Aqueous extracts from the roots of turmeric, tamarind, ginger and garlic, as well as honey, were tested in order to ascertain their effectiveness in controlling the growth of Fusarium graminearum, the causal giant of the head blight," explained Kundapur. "Tests yielded extremely positive results for tamarind and garlic extracts. Novel antifungal compounds are likely responsible for the observed inhibitory activity."

Kundapur, coming from an Asian background, used ginger as folk remedies for illnesses. She had the idea to test out extracts from ginger, relatives to the ginger, and other commonly used food additives, such as garlic and honey, in seeing if there were any similar responses in plant diseases.

This year the Canada Wide Science Fair brought together 463 young scientists in grades 7-12 to compete for close to $1 million in cash, prizes and scholarships and to showcase bright minds that are innovating for Canada.

"Canada's economic and social future depends on the proper investment and mentorship of young innovators who are emerging visionaries and change agents. The encouragement of organizations like Youth Science Canada and the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Foundation is a fundamental commitment to the realization of the economic and social opportunities that innovative minds create for Canada, and indeed globally, starting with our youngest innovators. We are pleased to be recognizing and fostering that mindset among Canadian youth," said Jennifer Diakiw, president, Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Foundation.

The Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards Foundation introduced its Young Canadian Program in 1992 to recognize innovative Canada-Wide Science Fair projects. Each year a judging team selects eight winning projects, four of which earn the $4,500 Manning Young Canadian Innovator Awards, and four others earn $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Awards. For more information about the Foundation and its awards visit Follow on Twitter @ManningAwardsCA. Like on Facebook/Manning Awards.

Contact Information

  • Rosemarie Enslin
    Enslin Group
    public relations for Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation
    403-630-8421 or (Toll free) 1 866 545 6206

    Brad McCabe
    Executive Director
    Youth Science Canada
    (Toll free) 1 866-341-0040