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2020: And now for the good news...

We’ve all been asked at least once whether we want to hear to good news or the bad news first, and honestly, it seemed like 2020 just always defaulted to the bad news first! So, with 2021 in on the horizon, it only seems fair to finally find out what the good news was …right? So here we have a few of the good things to come out of 2020.

Maryam Tsegaye wins international science competition

Alberta teenager, Maryam Tsegaye aged 17, won a global science competition winning $250,000 to go towards her schooling, a $100,000 science lab for her high school, and $50,000 for her science teacher. She was the first Canadian to win the Breakthrough Junior Challenge and did so by submitting a 3 minute video on explaining the university-level physics concept of quantum tunnelling in a way that fellow teens could understand. This is a fantastic achievement for Maryam and shines a bright light on her future in the sciences! Read more about her achievement and watch her video here.

The Whale Sanctuary Project finds perfect Nova Scotia site for whale sanctuary

The Whale Sanctuary Project have located a site in Port Hilford that will be developed into a sanctuary for whales that are being saved from captivity. This sanctuary site will allow whales to swim, dive and experience a natural sea-side environment where they can explore the sea-floor, chase birds on the surface and spend their time in nature. Find out more about The Whale Sanctuary Project Here.

Air Quality improved in Canada and Globally

The drastically reduced industrial and commuter footprint in 2020 resulted in improved air quality and cities like Toronto saw nitrogen dioxide levels decrease by over 30 percent while Calgary saw a decrease of over 40 percent. Experts indicated that just a few weeks of better air quality can significantly improve illness related to air quality such as asthma attacks. Find out more here.

Bikes made a comeback (and will hopefully stay)

In an effort to avoid crowed transit bikes came back in heavy demand during 2020 which is not only great news for our fitness and health but the environment felt the noticeable impact for few transmissions as well. Due to this some municipalities are considering future plans to make biking easier and more convenient as a more frequent transport method. Find out more about the rise of bikes this year here.

 

Nickolai Junussov used his extra "downtime" created by Covid-19 to help first responders

Grade 7 British Columbian student, Nickolai Junussov, took his time off seriously and started 3D printing earsavers, a device to help first responders find greater comfort while working during the pandemic. He has made a number of devices and delivered them to local first responders this year. Find out more about him here.

Canadian Polar bears are healthy and adjusting to changing conditions

Recent survey results from two of the world’s 19 polar bear subpopulations show that the Canadian polar bears are in good condition and seem to be adjusting to changes happening in the Arctic Sea ice. There has been an increase in body condition form the bears monitored in the mid- to late- 1990’s. Learn more about the research and polar bear population here.