Last call for entries for the 2011 Weston Youth Innovation Award

TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - The February 14th deadline to submit entries for the 2011 Weston Youth Innovation Award is fast approaching. The Ontario Science Centre is looking for young Agents of Change - Canadian youth who are actively motivating positive outcomes in the world by creating solutions for real issues.

The Weston Youth Innovation Award was established in 2008 to support and acknowledge young Canadian innovators. It provides students ages 14 to 18 a unique channel to share their ideas and get the word out to a much larger audience. The winner (either an individual or team) is granted a $2,000 cash prize and the chance to work with a Science Centre multimedia team to produce a short animation showcasing their project. This video will be broadcast in the Science Centre's Weston Family Innovation Centre, and will also be posted online at www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/innovationaward/

Entrants are asked to showcase how they have demonstrated leadership and initiative in tackling a real-world issue, for example, energy conservation or climate change, and to illustrate the impact of their efforts. Submissions will be judged on demonstration of the characteristics of innovation: inspiration, creativity, collaboration, risk-taking and problem-solving.

Last year, Kimberly Gulevich from Fort St. John, British Columbia was granted the award. Her innovative project presented a potential method of reducing the carbon footprint of small rural households that use sewage lagoons - by exploring the use of methane capture as a way to provide energy to these homes.

"The Weston Youth Innovation Award is a great opportunity for Canadian youth to showcase the work they are doing on a larger scale," said Gulevich. "For me, winning the award was not only about showcasing my work, but showcasing how communities can come together to benefit youth pursuing science. I not only believe that we are the next generation of scientists, but that we Canadian youth are making great progress today. The monetary portion of the award was also useful, as I was able to use it to further my education and am now studying Environmental Engineering at the University of Northern British Columbia."

Entries will undergo a two-step judging process. A panel from the Ontario Science Centre will assess all entries in February and will then send a shortlist to a second panel of external judges. The winner is scheduled to be announced on April 30, 2011 and will receive their award during a special ceremony in May where a multi-media presentation of their project will premiere.

The Weston Youth Innovation Award was named in recognition of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation's $15 million lead gift to the Ontario Science Centre's Agents of Change initiative. This national award honours the Foundation's dedication to education and contribution to the Canadian cultural landscape.

Detailed information about the Weston Youth Innovation Award can be found at www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/innovationaward.

About the Ontario Science Centre:

The Ontario Science Centre is Ontario's most visited cultural attraction welcoming almost 1.3 million visitors last year, including 200,000 students and teachers who participated in curriculum related programs that foster science literacy and encourage lifelong learning in young people.  With support from corporations, foundations and individuals, the Science Centre has made a strong commitment to ensuring that its programs are as accessible as possible to a great diversity of audiences. For more information, visit www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca or call our box office at 416-696-1000.
Twitter: @ontsciencectr

SOURCE Ontario Science Centre

For further information:

Media Contact:
Anna Relyea, Director, Strategic Communications
Ontario Science Centre
416-696-3273 
anna.relyea@osc.on.ca


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