Ontario Science Centre Announces Winner of the 2009 Weston Youth Innovation Award



    Calgary student Eden Full picks up $2,000 national prize

    TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - Since the age of nine, Eden Full has been
tinkering with solar panels, looking for ways to make them more efficient and
easy to use. She is particularly interested in helping people living in
developing countries. Eden's latest invention, Dynamic Photovoltaics, has
landed her the Ontario Science Centre's inaugural Weston Youth Innovation
Award.
    Students from across Canada aged 14 to 18 were asked to profile how they
have shown initiative and leadership to be agents of change in addressing a
current issue they are passionate about. Entries were judged on the degree to
which they demonstrate the key characteristics of innovation: inspiration,
creativity, collaboration, risk-taking and real-world problem-solving.
    "The Weston Youth Innovation Award has a mandate to stimulate innovative
thinking in the leaders of tomorrow. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is
pleased to support the passion for innovation and scientific pursuit
exemplified in student Eden Full's work," said Geordie Dalglish, Chairman, The
W. Garfield Weston Foundation. "We were struck by her desire to make a
difference in the world today."
    "We were very impressed with Eden Full's originality. Her solar panel
tracking apparatus - made from simple materials - showed real insight and a
depth of thinking that promises great work in the future," said Dr. Hooley
McLaughlin, Director of Visitor Experience, Ontario Science Centre. "We were
also pleased to see that Ms. Full used her invention as a stimulus for an
environmental awareness campaign targeted at students. We hope her work will
result in other young people choosing careers in science and technology."

    
    The finalists for the 2009 Weston Youth Innovation Award included:

    -   Albert Hu, founder of the Northern Secondary Robotic Innovation Team
        (Toronto, ON)
    -   Courtney Marshall, Adam Mitchell and Jake Mitchell (Napanee, ON),
        with the Solar Stirling Engine Project
    -   Meredith Drieseberg, Azra Shirji and Meagan McKeen (Oakville, ON)
        with iCCOMMIT, a youth movement to fight climate change.
    

    Winning Project

    Student Eden Full's winning project, Dynamic Photovoltaics, is a passive
solar tracker that moves panels towards the sun using inexpensive,
environmentally-safe materials that are commonly found in developing countries
and elsewhere. The device maximizes the efficiency of solar panels by having
them track the sun during the course of the day, and can be easily maintained
and repaired with simple instructions. Her use of bi-metallic strips to
facilitate movement is particularly innovative.
    "I am very honoured to be a recipient of the Weston Youth Innovation
Award, it will greatly benefit the fruition of the Dynamic Photovoltaics
project as I pursue the patenting and implementation of my photovoltaics
system in developing countries," said Eden, a grade 12 student from John G.
Diefenbaker High School in Calgary. "I can only hope that one day I can use my
passion to contribute to benefiting others' lives, and encourage other
like-minded youth to do so as well."
    The seventeen-year-old will be awarded the $2,000 prize at an upcoming
event at the Ontario Science Centre. In addition, she will work with an
Ontario Science Centre multimedia team to create a short animation showcasing
her project to be displayed in the Weston Family Innovation Centre. Details of
her project and the award will be posted at
www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/innovationaward/.
    The Weston Youth Innovation Award was established to encourage and
recognize young Canadian innovators and 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, and to honour the Foundation's support
and commitment to education.

    
    About the Ontario Science Centre
    --------------------------------
    

    The Ontario Science Centre opened on September 26, 1969, pioneering the
concept of an interactive science museum. Since then, well over 40 million
visitors have passed through its doors. The centre is a model for over 1,000
science centres around the world that have been built since its inception.
    The Ontario Science Centre uses science as the lens to inspire and
actively engage people in new ways of seeing, understanding and thinking about
themselves and the world. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the
Government of Ontario.

    
    Award Review Panel
    ------------------

    Hooley McLaughlin, Director, Visitor Experience, Ontario Science Centre
    Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Professor, Department of Geology, University of
    Toronto,
    Sarah Mitchell, Director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Toronto,
    Canada and the Rita Lila Howard Foundation, London, England
    Karl Price, Student at University of Waterloo studying Mechatronics
    Engineering; Ontario Science Centre Science School Alumnus, 2007/2008.
    





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact: Anna
Relyea, Associate Director, Strategic Communications, Ontario Science Centre,
(416) 696-3273, annarelyea@ocs.on.ca; Christine Crosbie, Media Relations
Officer, Ontario Science Centre, (416) 696-3191, christine.crosbie@osc.on.ca


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