Grade 8 boys win top science fair prize with self-warming lifejacket

Dec 2 2022, 7:14 pm

A pair of grade 8 boys from BC made an impressive award-winning science fair project that’s so clever.

Science Fair Foundation BC just announced the winners of its fourth annual Youth Innovation Showcase (YIS), and two boys won big for their potentially life-saving idea.

YIS encourages youth to explore creative ways to solve everyday challenges and to see how their theoretical solutions can become real-world change.

All the participants picked their ideas, got feedback from experts, and learned about a career in STEM along the way.

Liam Pope-Lau and Fraser Tuck from Victoria won the title of Innovators of the Year in the 12 to 15 age category with their invention LifeHeat: The Self-Heating Lifejacket. This lifejacket generates heat when immersed in water and was developed to prevent hypothermia.

In Canada, there are 8,000 hypothermia-related deaths a year. Cold water shock occurs in less than one minute, and hypothermia can happen in less than one hour.


They won a cash prize of $5,000 (plus $200 for winning the People’s Choice Award in their age group), and now they plan to take their project even further.

“We want to look at new textiles we can implement in LifeHeat to make sure it’s the safest and best product we can create,” said Pope-Lau.

“We are planning to reach out to the BC Ferries Safety Department and hopefully implement our invention with the BC Ferries fleet of life jackets,” said Tuck.

Other winners at the fair included Timothy Cai from Surrey, who made a water purification system, and Owen Cui and Eric Xie for their Nail Braille project, a speech-to-braille learning device.

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