A pair of Year 8 students from St Michael’s University School are finalists in the BC Science Fair Foundation Youth Innovation Showcase.
Liam Pope-Lau and Fraser Tuck stand a chance to win $5,000 for their LifeHeat project, which is described as a self-heating life jacket.
Pope-Lau was inspired to create LifeHeat after falling overboard while learning how to sail the summer before starting 6th grade.
“It was so cold,” he said in a news release. “When I got home, I was thinking about hypothermia and how many people die from cold water every year, and I just thought, this is preventable.”
Pope-Lau teamed up with Tuck to find a solution to keep people warm in cold water next science fair season.
“I’m also very interested in sailing, so when Liam approached me, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a great idea,'” Tucker said. “We really wanted to make sure that nothing had to be pulled or anything like that, so we wanted to use a reaction that would happen right away.”
The students finally designed a life jacket with a bag of calcium chloride, which will generate heat when it meets water.
They’ve now created a dozen prototypes and presented LifeHeat to the Youth Innovation Showcase judges at the end of October.
Winners of the showcase will be announced on November 30th.
“Winning will allow us to put in more work and make our projects higher quality,” Pope-Lau added. “This award will help us buy more of the materials we need to keep improving our project and possibly help see it more widely. What we need are materials and testing time. We want to make sure our testing and data There are no errors in.”
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