Fuel from Sewage Study Nets B.C. Student the 2010 Weston Youth Innovation

Ontario Science Centre announces winner of the $2000 prize

TORONTO, April 23 /CNW/ - Could methane from sewage lagoons become a clean, renewable household energy source? That's the question grade 12 student Kimberly Gulevich of Fort St. John, BC, explores in her feasibility study "Got Gas?" Kimberly is the 2010 winner of the Ontario Science Centre's Weston Youth Innovation Award, a national prize for students aged 14 to 18 who use science and technology to create solutions for real-world problems.

Entries were judged on the degree to which they demonstrate the characteristics of innovation: inspiration, creativity, collaboration, risk-taking and real-world problem-solving.

"The Weston Youth Innovation Award recognizes young people who are already making positive changes in our world," said Geordie Dalglish, Chairman of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. "Kimberly's project not only raises awareness of environmental issues, but explores potential solutions."

Kimberly Gulevich's winning project explores the use of methane capture as a way to provide energy to small rural households that use sewage lagoons. A clean form of energy and a renewable resource, capturing methane could potentially help reduce the carbon footprint of these households. The study concluded that larger municipal and agricultural sewage lagoons would be better targets for methane capture.

"Kimberly's project demonstrates how science is a process of continually asking questions," said Hooley McLaughlin, Director, Visitor Experience, Ontario Science Centre. "And not only has Kimberly been tenacious in testing her theories, she has also been able to gather significant support from local business and community leaders."

For the past five years, environmental issues have held Kimberly's attention. Through her science-related activities, she has been able to develop innovation and research skills.

"This project has not only allowed me to research alternative, renewable fuel sources, but also bring awareness of environmental issues to my community," said Ms. Gulevich. I have also been able to promote the use of waste materials as energy sources."

Kimberly will be awarded the $2000 prize at an event at the Ontario Science Centre April 30th. In addition, she will work with a multimedia team to create a short animation showcasing her project to be displayed in the Weston Family Innovation Centre. Details of her project are posted at www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca/innovationaward

The finalists for the 2010 Weston Youth Innovation Award included:

        -  HONOURABLE MENTION: Meredith Drieseberg and Kathleen Skyvington
           for ICCommit, a youth movement to fight climate change
        -  Sophia Coulter English and Gillian Walczak for "The Perfect
           Plastic", a project to develop bio-degradable plastic from simple
           household products
        -  Katrine Masters and Cynthya Peloquin for "Suivi de population de
           poissons dans le ruisseau Cacouna", a project to assess the health
           and outcome of a trout-stocking program in Drummondville, Quebec

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, a global pioneer of the concept of an interactive science museum. Since then, well over 44 million visitors have passed through its doors. It is a model for over 2,000 science centres built since its inception around the world.

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 around them. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information, visit www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca or call our box office at 416-696-1000.

    Award Review Panel

        -  Dr. Hooley McLaughlin, Director, Visitor Experience,
           Ontario Science Centre
        -  Serena Mitchell, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
        -  Dr. Marc Nantel, Ontario Centres of Excellence
        -  Magda Price, Ontario Science Centre Science School Alumni
        -  Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Professor, University of Toronto

SOURCE Ontario Science Centre

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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