Canadian youth innovator touches the sun

She decided be a scientist at the age of three. She’s been doing research on solar panels since she was nine. Eden Full, a 17-year old grade 12 student from Calgary is the winner of the inaugural Weston Youth Innovation Award. Her project, Dynamic Photovoltaics, impressed a panel of judges for its originality and thorough research. It’s the triple-threat of energy production: sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and inexpensive.

Eden’s invention helps maximize the performance of solar panels by helping them track the sun’s movement across the sky. In her application, she describes how conventional active solar tracking systems require electricity to power motors, while passive systems contain toxic compounds such as chlorofluorocarbons.

“I am very honoured to be a recipient of The Weston Youth Innovation Award” says Eden. “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.”

Because Eden’s prototype uses readily-available materials and can be easily maintained by its owners, it is suitable for use in developing countries. “Currently, a simple solution does not exist to allow people of different economic backgrounds to access solar energy, and this issue continues to be addressed by my research.” Details of the Dynamic Photovoltaics project can be found at

Eden’s work on solar energy has increased environmental awareness at John G. Diefenbaker High School in Calgary, AB. The school’s Green Chiefs Environmental Club has promoted environmental causes such as energy conservation, and a student-run recycling team. She’s a veteran of the Canada-Wide Science Fair, and won a scholarship to the United States Space Camp. She has an impressive resume for someone who hasn’t yet finished high school.

“We were pleased to see that Ms. Full used her invention as a stimulus for an environmental awareness campaign targeted at students,” says Dr. Hooley McLaughlin, Director of Visitor Experience at the Science Centre. “We hope her work will result in other young people choosing careers in science and technology.”  As Alberta Coordinator of Youth Science Foundation Canada’s SMARTS Network, Eden has taught others about the benefits of scientific investigation.

The $2000 Weston Youth Innovation Award was established to encourage and recognize young Canadian innovators, and is named in recognition of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation’s $15 million lead gift to the Ontario Science Centre’s Agents of Change initiative. Eden will be presented the award at the Science Centre on May 29th.