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Could you be our next award winner?

Other people talk about making the world better. You did something.

The Weston Youth Innovation Award was created to encourage and recognize young Canadian innovators. It provides students aged 14 to 18 a unique way to share their ideas and get the word out to a much larger audience.

Interested? Why not tell us about your accomplishments? You could be the next Weston Youth Innovation Award winner.

This Year’s Prizes

  • $15,000 first-place prize
  • $8,500 second-place prize
  • $3,500 each for up to three additional finalists
  • Your project featured in an Ontario Science Centre exhibit

Who is eligible?

We look for individuals or groups who:

  1. are between the ages of 14 and 18,
  2. have used science and/or technology as the basis for developing creative and innovative ideas aimed at solving real-world problems, and
  3. put their ideas into action and have had a positive impact either in their own community or on a broader scale.

Download a copy of the full 2020 Rules and Regulations.

How to apply?

UPDATE: The 2020 competition is now closed! Winners will be announced in June. The 2021 competition will open in October if you’d like to apply for next year’s award.

Send us a short email expressing interest and describing why you think you should receive the award (maximum 200 words).

If you qualify, we’ll be in touch with a link to the online application form.

To fill out the application form, you’ll need to provide a short essay describing your work, references and a one-minute video pitching your project to the judges!

The winner’s work will also be featured in a professional animation on display in the Weston Family Innovation Centre at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, visited by nearly one million guests each year! It will also be posted on our website to help inspire other youth to think, work and collaborate in new ways.

Meet the 2019 Award Winners!

On June 26th, 2019, the Ontario Science Centre presented the 2019 Weston Youth Innovation Award to six enterprising teens from across Canada:

First-Place Winner: Stella Bowles

Photograph of Stella Bowles

Fifteen-year-old citizen scientist and environmental activist Stella Bowles from Upper LaHave, Nova Scotia received first place. Bowles carried out water sampling and successfully worked with local, provincial and federal governments to eliminate pipes that dump raw sewage into waterways on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. A force of change, she also teaches other youth to test their local water, sharing the story that kids—armed with good science—can make a difference.

Second-Place Winner: Nicolas Fedrigo

Photograph of Nicolas Fedrigo

Eighteen-year-old inventor Nicolas Fedrigo from Victoria, British Columbia, took second place for redesigning a pedicle probe, a surgical instrument used in spinal reconstruction. His prototype uses sensors and microcontrollers to provide doctors with instantaneous feedback, helping them avoid damage to the spinal cord. He tested his device in his kitchen using lamb vertebrae sourced from a local butcher.

National Finalist Winners:

Photograph of Jack Ceroni Abdullah Hadi

Sixteen-year-old Abdullah Hadi, and eighteen-year-old Jack Ceroni from Burlington, Ontario, developed a computer program to run an autonomous robot prototype that predicts forest fires using computer simulations.

Photograph of Riya Karumanchi

Sixteen-year-old Riya Karumanchi from Burlington, Ontario, is the inventor of the SmartCane, a device that uses GPS, sensors, audio feedback and computer vision to help the visually impaired better navigate their surroundings.

Photograph of Jonathan Levesque

Eighteen-year-old Jonathan Lévesque from Lévis, Québec, created the QualyL Robotic Heart, an electronic organ that adjusts its pumping speed to the individual conditions of patients awaiting heart transplants.

The 2019 Review Panel

  • Maurice Bitran, PhD, CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre and Jury Chair
  • Scott Bowman, Senior Director, Ontario and Western, Futurpreneur Canada
  • David Cramb, PhD, Dean, Faculty of Science, Ryerson University
  • Eugenia Duodu, PhD, Executive Director, Visions of Science Network for Learning
  • Emma Mogus, 2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award recipient
  • Carolyn Van, Director, Program Design, Canada Learning Code

See more winners


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