Meet the 2015 Weston Youth Innovation Award winner!

Photograph of Alex Dean. Winner of 2015 Weston Youth Innovation Award.

The recipient of the 2015 Weston Youth Innovation Award is eighteen-year-old Alex Deans of Windsor, Ontario. Alex is the inventor of the iAid navigation system to assist the visually impaired. After many rounds of testing and improvement, his original handheld device now seamlessly integrates with a smartphone.

Finalists for 2015 Weston Youth Innovation Award:

Anya Pogharian, for developing an affordable, portable hemodialysis machine for patients in developing countries.

Calvin Rieder, for creating a device that collects water from the air and then purifies it without using electricity.

Hayley Todesco, for developing a sand- and bacteria-based filter that removes toxins from oil sands extraction wastewater.

Raymond Wang, for inventing a self-cleaning waste bin that uses ozone to destroy bacteria and fungi.


The 2015 Review Panel

Imogen Coe, Dean of Science, Ryerson University
Joe Deklic, Vice President Deal Management at Rogers Communications
Eugenia Duodu, PhD Candidate Chemistry, University of Toronto and Executive Director, Visions of Science Network for Learning
Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Professor, University of Toronto
Hooley McLaughlin, Vice President Science Experience and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre
Marc Nantel, Associate Vice President Research & Innovation, Niagara College


 

Past Winners:

2014 Weston Youth Innovation Award

The recipient of the 2014 Weston Youth Innovation Award was 16-yeard-old Ann Makosinski of Victoria, B.C. for her development of a flashlight powered by the heat of the human hand.

Finalists for 2014 Weston Youth Innovation Award included

  • Duncan Stothers of Vancouver, BC for his "Front Impact Reduction System (FIRST) Frame Bicycle".
  • Maya Burhanpurkar of Shanty Bay, ON for her work on a "Cardio-Protective Drug for Seniors with Alzheimers".
  • Alexander Deans of Windsor, ON for his "iAID Navigation Device for the Visually Impaired".
  • Roman Kozak of Grimsby, ON for his "Sign-Language Translator Glove".

The 2014 Review Panel

  • Joe Deklic, Vice-President, Strategic Investments Group, Cisco Systems Canada
  • Dr. Hooley McLaughlin, Vice President Science Experience and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre
  • Dr. Kyla Sask, Co-ordinator of Engineering Enrichment and Outreach at Ryerson University
  • Mike Serbinis, Founder, Vice Chair, Kobo Inc.

2013 Weston Youth Innovation Award

Adam Noble of Lakefield, Ontario, for his work developing a biofilter to remove nanosilver from wastewater. View the press release.

Finalists for 2013 Weston Youth Innovation Award included

  • Jessie MacAlpine (Woodstock, Ontario), combined garlic mustard and coffee grinds to produce an environmentally friendly and effective herbicide.
  • Jamil Merali (Corbeil, Ontario), built a haptic shoe with GPS receiver, motors, and ultrasonic sensors to aid people with various physical and mental challenges.
  • Kyle Potts (Barrie, Ontario),developed a method to produce stronger-than-wood panels from agricultural waste.
  • Soumya Srinivasan (Ottawa, Ontario), designed a reliable and portable device to prevent drowning.
  • Janelle Tam (Waterloo, Ontario), discovered that nano-crystalline cellulose from trees is a powerful anti-oxidant that can be used in food, health care, and cosmetics.

The 2013 Review Panel

  • Dr. Hooley McLaughlin, Vice President Science Experience and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre
  • Serena Mitchell, Representative, W. Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, Director, Stable Isotope Laboratory, Board Member, Ontario Science Centre
  • Dr. Marc Nantel, PhD, P.Phys., Associate Vice-President – Research & Innovation, Niagara College Canada

2012 Weston Youth Innovation Award

Charlotte Donaldson and Megan Smith of Nova Scotia, for their work developing an improved "Universal Spinal Board" to aid in the rescue of victims of spinal injuries.

Honourable Mention:

The Award Selection Committee wishes to recognize Shayla Larson and Adam Noble of Ontario for their work using Euglena cells to test the toxicity of nanosilver in Canada's water systems.

Finalists for 2012 Weston Youth Innovation Award included:

  • Rachel Brown and Katie van der Sloot of Alberta for their investigations and community activism related to Triclosan and its role in contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • The Sentinels (Lego Robotics Team 3663) of Ontario for their work developing a new biomedical device to aid in diabetes management.
  • Marshall Zhang of Ontario for his work researching a possible new drug treatment for cystic fibrosis. 2011 Weston Youth Innovation Award.

2011 Weston Youth Innovation Award

Please note that the Weston Youth Innovation Award was not awarded in 2011. After careful deliberation, the Review Panel determined that none of that year's submissions met all the required criteria.

2010 Weston Youth Innovation Award

Kimberly Gulevich of British Columbia, for her work exploring 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, methane could potentially help reduce the carbon footprint of these households.

Honourable Mention:

The Award Selection Committee recognized Meredith Drieseberg and Kathleen Skyvington for iCCOMMIT, a youth movement to fight climate change.

Finalists for 2010 Weston Youth Innovation Award included:

  • 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.

2009 Weston Youth Innovation Award

Eden Full of Alberta, for her work with Dynamic Photovoltaics, 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.

Finalists for 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.

 

The Weston Youth Innovation Award is generously supported by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and is administered by the Ontario Science Centre.