Yassine Bouanane (17) of Laval, Québec has been selected as one of 15 finalists in the second annual Google Science Fair. His project, Soleil, où es-tu? (Sun, where are you?), involved the development of a device that automatically orients solar panels perpendicular to the sun to maximise their energy output. Bouanane's device delivers 36.5% more energy than a standard solar panel under the same conditions.
Last month, at the 2012 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Charlottetown, PEI, Bouanane won a gold medal, the Senior Energy Challenge Award, and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO - Science for Peace and Development (MILSET ESI) Award, as well as entrance scholarships to five Canadian universities.
Yassine has had a passion for computing and technology since he was very young. He began developing web sites at age 12, including www.supportduweb.com, which provides tools for beginning web programmers. This year's science fair project enabled him to integrate his love of computing with electronics and to develop new programming skills in the C++ language. He hopes that his project will help those in developing countries make the best possible use of solar energy.
As one of the 15 global finalists, Bouanane will be flown to Google HQ in Mountain View, California for the celebratory event and finalist judging round, which will take place on July 23rd. The finalists will present their projects to a panel of acclaimed scientists, innovators, explorers, and entrepreneurs from around the world. A winner will be selected from each of the age categories, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. One will be named the Grand Prize Winner.
Bouanane's selection means Canada is two-for-two with finalists in the Google Science Fair. Last year, Christopher Nielsen of Calgary, Alberta represented the country at the inaugural event. This year's finalists were selected from thousands of entries from over 100 countries. The other 14 projects selected as finalists are from India (3), Malta (1), Spain(1), Swaziland (1), Ukraine (1), and USA (7).
Congratulations, and best of luck in the finals, Yassine!
UPDATE: The 2012 Google Science Fair Grand Prize winner (and 17-18 Age Group Winner) is Brittany Wenger (17) of Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Her project, Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer, successfully detects 99.11% of malignant breast tumors.
The 13-14 Age Group Winner is Jonah Kohn (14) of San Diego, California for Good Vibrations: Improving the Music Experiencefor People with Hearing Loss Using Multi-Frequency Tactile Sound.
The 15-16 Age Group Winners are Iván Hervías Rodríguez (17), Marcos Ochoa (16), and Sergio Pascual (15) from Logroño, Spain for their project, The hidden life of water.
The winners of the Scientific American Science in Action award were Sakhiwe Shongwe (14) and Bonkhe Mahlalela (14) of Swaziland for their project, Unique Simplified Hydroponic Methods; Can The Method be Adapted for Poor Swazi Subsistence Farmers?