The Science Fair Foundation’s 2020 Youth Innovation Showcase went virtual this year with over a dozen young inventors and finalists submitting innovative pitches to a panel of judges, in the realm of science, technology, and medicine.

For their innovations, the students (and YIS finalists) below decided to tackle the environmental crisis and climate change in truly creative ways, with clever inventions that impressed a panel of industry judges.

These immensely talented students are eager to take their innovations to the next level.

3D-Printed Biodegradable Pencil – Patrick Cioata & Jahan Gill

Did you know that nearly 48 million square meters of plastic waste are produced each year due to mechanical pencils? For their submission, Jahan Gill and Patrick Cioata designed a clever solution: a fully biodegradable, 3D-printed pencil.

Their pencil takes only 2 years to biodegrade, compared to regular ones which take 200 years. With all that waste being saved, you could build 4,000 houses and 55 cars. Their solution is also cheaper and easier to produce than ones that involve a spring mechanism.

For Jahan and Patrick, this isn’t their first foray into the world of science. The talented duo participated in both their school and district science fairs and were encouraged by teachers to enter YIS. “We believe it’s important for people to understand how much waste can be saved by using our pencil.”, said Gill.

Energy Efficient Refrigerator – Aislinn Dressler

It currently costs about $300/year per to operate a refrigerator in B.C. But that cost can be considerably higher, as many of them are not properly configured in homes. Fernie, B.C. student Aislinn Dressler’s YIS innovation, “Cool by Nature”, is a more efficient freezer and fridge system that utilizes outside air, rather than the appliance’s own cooling system, when the weather is cool enough, -2 degrees to be exact!

Aislinn’s innovation would save an average of $100/year per refrigerator in B.C., as the majority of homes experience over 100 days of temperatures below -2 degrees. While much of B.C.’s energy is clean, this innovation would also greatly benefit the environment and is cost-efficient.

Automative Wildfire Drones – Robin Yadav

16-year-old Surrey resident Robin Yadav has a passion for computer science and is putting it to good use. Yadav recently discovered that firefighters use human-operated drones for monitoring and mapping wildfires. However, these drones put the user at risk and aren’t the most energy-efficient.

Applying his passion, Yadav’s innovation for YIS is to utilize deep learning to automate wildfire drones. This will allow firefighters to concentrate on more important tasks while effectively containing wildfire damage.