Polite Canada Logo

Celebrating 2024’s Canadian Youth Innovators

Last month, the Ingenious+ National Awards celebrated sixteen youth innovators, between the age group of 14 to 18, from across Canada whose innovations best exemplify innovating for good in categories such as Community and Civic Engagement, Equity and Inclusion, Health and Well-being, and Technology and Entrepreneurship. The following is a list of national winners along with their innovations.

AI-QUA Savior: Harnessing Artificial Intelligence In Subaquatic Rescue Operations
by Yurui Qin | Saskatchewan
The Environment

Developed an affordable underwater robot that can operate on its own. It uses advanced computer programs to search specific areas, find people, and send accurate location data via text messages during search and rescue missions.

by Yasmine Ben Arous | Québec
Community and Civic Engagement

Support for students with anxiety disorders is often not enough and doesn’t work well. This also gives social workers too much work. Calmos is an artificial intelligence web and mobile app that works with a device to watch these students. It also helps to prevent anxiety attacks and gives students support and tools when they are feeling very anxious.

Tech for Community
by Natalie Mitchell | Newfoundland
Equity and Inclusion

Tech for Community is a youth-led organization that adapts toys for children with dexterity challenges using 3-D printers to customize the toy based on the child’s interest, utilizing different patterns, colours, and layouts depending on their needs.

Portable and Individualized Air Quality Monitor for Outdoors and Wildfires
by Kendra Nayanka | Ontario
Health and Well-being

An outdoor portable device measures air quality. It tracks fine particulate matter, number of particles, temperature, humidity, air pressure, and air quality index. It displays real-time data and gives audio alerts when conditions make users uncomfortable. It also offers personalized alerts based on each user’s sensitivities and tolerance level.

LifeHeat: The Self-Heating Survival Pack that Works in Water
by Liam Pope-Lau | British Columbia
Technology and Entrepreneurship

LifeHeat is a water-activated self-heating survival pack developed to help prevent hypothermia. It generates heat when immersed in water, with no activation. LifeHeat is made of recycled materials, is refillable and can retrofit any lifejacket.

In addition to the winners mentioned above, the following students were acknowledged as National Finalists:

Smart Prosthetic Hands for Enhanced Living
by Frank Chen | Newfoundland

The smart prosthetic system uses embedded sensors to monitor and track the external conditions of the prosthetic hand. Smart prosthetic hands with 3D–printed backbone fingers can mimic a human hand, enhancing the lives of people with partially lost fingers.

Screening for Retinitis Pigmentosa with Smartphones
by Harry Nickerson | Nova Scotia

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a rare degenerative eye condition. This innovation is an image classifier capable of using fundus photos to screen for RP using a smartphone. Currently, this solution correctly classifies RP 92% of the time.

A Drone that Saves Lives
by Maxim Michaud | New Brunswick

A drone that speeds up the search process for missing people. It uses artificial intelligence and a thermal camera to identify potential leads or people. It is a tool that will enable search teams to act faster and more effectively, and thus save lives.

by Unmol Sharma, Bagavan Marakathalingasivam, and Alexander Yevchenko | Ontario

A tech-based, non-invasive, community-based farming management app for small-scale farmers. It can help the average family farm manage its operations using the integration of technology and agriculture. The app includes weather alerts and forecasting capabilities, a crop phenology tracker, a predictor for crop growth stages and optimizing resource use, a financial tracking system and the ability to analyze communal market trends, leveraging collective user data for localized insights.

Biodegradable and Treated Wood Chips as a Winter Alternative for De-Icing Road Salts
by Casper Dong | Manitoba

The innovation is biodegradable chemically treated wood chips to serve as an alternative for de-icing salts, by binding 50% calcium chloride crystals to wood chips and coating the other 50% with nitrogen-rich plant soil. Wood chips cover more ground area than conventional salts, last at tested temperatures of -31 degrees Celsius, and offer added grip when lodged into ice. With this innovation, residents near endangered freshwater ecosystems won’t have to rely on toxic salts to keep their driveways, roads, and sidewalks safe.

Harry Ainlay Pre-Medical Club
by Aishat Azeez and Amtul Aleem | Alberta

A pre-medical organization that takes a unique approach by engaging directly with current medical students to offer mentorship and valuable insights for high school students who feel underrepresented in this field.   

Vehicle-mounted Door Opening Warning System
by Shiran Sun | British Columbia

This vehicle-mounted door-opening warning system alerts both passengers inside the vehicle and approaching cyclists. The prototype was successfully tested on a vehicle, demonstrating reliable performance in preventing dooring accidents.

EV Conversion
by Jackson Berry | Yukon

Prototype of a low-cost option that will enable car owners to convert their existing gas-powered vehicles to electric. This may reduce the cost of EVs considerably and help reuse existing resources, cutting down on the overall environmental toll.

You can view the full winners’ gallery here

Ingenious+ offers young people in Canada, aged 14 to 18, the chance to come up with creative solutions for real-world problems. Whether it’s improving an existing product, service, or process, or creating something entirely new, this program is all about making a positive impact. If you have ideas for how to make your community or the world a better place, you could receive financial support, learning opportunities, and mentorship from some of Canada’s top innovators!

Stage One:

  • Youth ages 14 to 18 years can apply to Ingenious+ to receive a $1,000 Regional Award as well as learning opportunities to grow their innovations.

Stage Two:

  • $1,000 Regional Award recipients from stage one will have an opportunity to participate in the national competition.
  • Up to 13 young innovators have the opportunity to be named national finalists in their region and receive an additional $1,000.
  • One $10,000 cash award plus mentorship and learning opportunities will be awarded in each of the five categories:
    • Community and Civic Engagement
    • Climate Change and the Environment
    • Equity and Inclusion
    • Health and Well-being
    • Technology and Entrepreneurship