A pair of silver medalist Chinook Regional Science Fair prodigies are off to the Canada-Wide Science Fair, and they are shaking the ground of the very institution that raised them.
Hazlet School's Grade 11 Tessa Todd and Braden Baumann are a pair of 17-year-old wiz kids that are challenging some preconceived notions in education.
The project that won them a spot on the big circuit focuses on the idea that people are either physical learners, audio-based learners, or visual learners.

Tessa Todd, Hazlet School 11th grader. Tessa Todd, Hazlet School 11th grader. 

"Our project was to research into that and see if there's actually those learning styles, or if that's a bit of a myth," said Todd. "And to go more so into these different learning styles and how people actually learn and how people comprehend material."
The way they went about this experiment was by having people fill out a small survey, which filtered them down to what kind of preferred learning method they personally find the most success in. In total, they had 21 participants.
Then, they were made to complete similar material in each of the different formats they were sorted into. The selection for which learning style they would be learning from was randomized, but the tests they all took were the same.
The results of how people faired were recorded and broken down by each learning style.
"We chose a topic that not many people would know too much about, which was armadillos," said Todd. "So we just did some background research on armadillos. [Baumann] already had some base knowledge."
The results of their finding, while only from a small batch, revealed some interesting results.
Of those who were matched with their preferred learning styles, 75 per cent was the average score. For those who had to take in the information in a way they did not align with, they scored an average of 71.1 per cent.

Braden Baumann, Hazlet School 11th grader. Braden Baumann, Hazlet School 11th grader. 

"However, within that, there were a few different interesting things that could be found," said Baumann. "For each different presentation, there were different averages too."
In reading and writing, there was an 82 per cent average. The visual quiz scored second highest, with a 72 per cent average. In last place was audio, which was a 62 per cent average.
"Which would show that the reading and writing quiz had the highest average and therefore the best comprehension of that material," said Baumann.
In the run-up to the Canada-Wide Science Fair, the duo will be looking to expand their test base. By getting more participants, they can more accurately account for the differences in individual performance on the material. For anyone who would like to help out, they can click here
Both Todd and Baumann are excited to be heading to the national level, and the trip out east. But perhaps most importantly, they are excited to continue this innovative project.
"What we were really trying to figure out with this is that there's different learning styles across different subjects as well," said Baumann. "So it's not just one universal learning style people have, but different subjects can be learned in different ways that help those specific subjects be learned better."