07/10/2014 02:38 EDT | Updated 09/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Calgary teen's project on oilsands cleanup a Google Science Fair finalist

A 17-year-old high school student from Calgary is a finalist in the international Google Science Fair.

Hayley Todesco's science project outlines a potential method to speed up the detoxification of oilsands tailings ponds.

A panel of judges chose her work as the top project in Canada and on Sept. 22 she'll find out if her experiment will be selected for the grand prize over 89 other finalists.

She could win a $50,000 scholarship, a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, and a trip to New Mexico to witness Virgin Galactic's work toward launching its commercial space-travel operation.

A number of scholarships and trips are also being awarded for winners in other categories.

Last year, Victoria teen Ann Makosinski won one of the top prizes for her project, a flashlight powered by body heat.


Hayley Todesco's project: Waste to Water: Biodegrading Napthenic Acids Using Novel Sand Bioreactors