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Ai Quoc Bui

Location: Windsor, ON

Award: Young Canadians


Year: 2008


Dying for a Sleep

News Release

Ontario Students Win Big at 2008 Canada-Wide Science Fair
Six Ontario Science Students Win Manning Innovation Awards at National Fair

OTTAWA, ON - (May 16, 2008) Budding engineers, environmental scientists and medical researchers from Ontario reaped over half of the Young Canadian Program, Manning Innovation Awards at the 2008 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. The students with winning projects were among over 450 finalists who participated in this year's science fair, held May 10th to 18th.

Windsor's Ai Quoc Bui won a $4000 Manning Young Canadian Award and $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award for his engineering project, "Dying for a Sleep." The Grade 12 student built an eye detection system to identify when a driver is beginning to nod off at the wheel. He successfully programmed a computerized system connected to a Web cam to interpret signs of drowsiness in a driver's face. His next goal is to connect the system to an alarm that would alert the driver in order to prevent fatigue-related traffic accidents.

Zamir Merali and Ryan Willick of North Bay also won the $4000 Manning Young Canadian Award and the $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award for their medical science project, "Go with the Flow." The 16-year-olds wanted to find an alternative to needles used for blood-monitoring and injections, which can damage the skin, making it prone to infection. The two young scientists used pulses of electricity to safely create pores between skin cells, a technique that they hope could be used by diabetics who need frequent insulin injections.

Another $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award went to Jean-Olivier Lambert from Timmins for his project on improving computer simulations, such as the visual simulations used to train surgeons. The Grade 11 student showed that making the virtual camera focal point and tracking motion match that of the human eye, the quality and reality of the animation could be greatly enhanced.

Two young environmental scientists from Ontario also won $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Awards. Waterloo's Daniel Burd was recognised for his project to identify plastic-degrading microbes in landfill soil. He discovered that two types of bacteria, Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas, work together to degrade polyethylene, the type of plastic typically used to make plastic bags. David Castelino of Mississauga won for his work on dye-sensitized solar cells. He demonstrated the efficiency of solar cells that used natural plant pigments in place of synthesized dyes for converting light energy to electricity. Using his innovation, he built cost-effective solar tiles that could easily be manufactured in developing countries.

The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation introduced the Young Canadian Program in 1992 to recognize Canada's innovative youth. Each year a judging team selects eight winning projects at the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) for a $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award. These are presented at the CWSF ceremony; four of these are selected for a $4000 Manning Young Canadian Innovation Award. These top four young winners and other Manning Innovation Award winners are recognized in person at the Foundation's Annual Awards Gala. Visit www.manningawards.ca for more information and winner videos.

Bruce Fenwick, Executive Director, Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, Phone: 403-645-8277 Email: bruce.fenwick@encana.com

Lori Murray, Youth Science Foundation Canada, Phone: (Toll free) 866-341-0040 ext. 3 Email: communications@ysf-fsj.ca