A second crack at the Canada-Wide Science Fair proved to be extremely fruitful for a Swift Current Comp. High School student.

Mapalo Mushoriwa, who won the Chinook Regional Science Fair for a second consecutive year in March, took her 'Effect of Climate Conditions on Cadmium Uptake in Wheat' project to Ottawa last week and earned a senior bronze excellence award.

The grade 12 student attended the event last year in Edmonton and used that experience to propel her onto the podium in the nation's capital.

"It's really nice to get your recognition, of course, everyone who's there works so hard on their projects," she said. "When I go to science fairs, I know I put everything into it and this is worthy of a medal but to know that other people, let alone a bunch of judges who are professionals in those fields also agree that my project is worth a medal, it's validating."

This year's science fair project was first thought of in November with her scientific experiment beginning in February when she began lab tests. She used over 1,100 seeds to see the effects cadmium had on the germination rate of three different types of durum wheat. The conclusion showed the chemical element hampers the growth process of the seed.

Mushoriwa advanced the study into the greenhouse stage a few months ago planting 360 wheat seeds with different concentrations of cadmium at various temperatures.

"My findings for that are still inconclusive," she said. "Once they're harvested they're going to be grinded and sent somewhere for some testing to determine the atomic makeup of the actual seeds to determine how much cadmium is taken up."

The soon-to-be University of Toronto student selected this in-depth investigation because the agriculture sector is a massive economic factor for southwestern Saskatchewan, a place where she grew up.

"Whether I have a direct tie to farming, the area I'm in, when there's something wrong with the agriculture industry, that will affect me directly or indirectly," she said. "(This project) is looking at my space and environment."

Mushoriwa received several university scholarships for her showing at the national event that total $6,000 - University of Ottawa, Western University, and Carleton University. However, she's already earned a full scholarship to the University of Toronto for a bachelor's degree in forensic science.