A sketch of the circuit used in Dressler’s innovation. Photo Submitted

A sketch of the circuit used in Dressler’s innovation. Photo Submitted

Aislinn Dressler competes in 2020 Youth Innovation Showcase

Dressler was a finalist at the showcase, exhibiting her energy efficient fridge design

Fernie local and youth activist, Aislinn Dressler, was a finalist at this year’s Youth Innovation Showcase (YIS).

Tasked to create a science fair project as part of her science curriculum at The Fernie Academy, Dressler, a recently graduated student, designed an energy efficient fridge and freezer. After submitting the design to the YIS, Dressler was selected as one of 14 finalists, out of a total of 62 entries.

Bringing ideas to life, the YIS is a program giving British Columbian and Yukon youth a chance to pitch innovative solutions and products to a panel of industry experts. Connecting students with mentors at the top of their field, the showcase guides participants in creating a business plan for innovations in the realm of technology, science and medicine.

Inspiration for the project hit when Dressler’s home fridge broke in February, forcing her family to place leftover food in outdoor bins. The incident had her considering the idea of using outdoor air to increase fridge and freezer efficiency while also reducing cost. Her Cool By Nature innovation uses a tube to replace the regular coil cooling system in refrigerators with winter air, lowering overall energy consumption.

“With climate change being a huge threat to our world, I believe that it is crucial that every aspect of our lives be looked at through an eco-lense of improvement,” said Dressler. “This means that everyday items should be examined to see if there are ways to reduce their impact. I also think this project has the potential to save individuals a lot of money. With my estimates, this product would only cost about $100 to install and it would save around $100 per year per fridge with Fernie’s temperatures. The return on investment therefore occurs after only one year.”

Competing in a live virtual competition held on June 10, Dressler pitched her idea to a panel of industry leaders for the chance to receive $5,000. Having participated in both her school science fair and the East Kootenay Regional Science Fair, Dressler was supposed to attend the National Science Fair in Edmonton before it was cancelled. She is grateful for the chance to be a finalist at the YIS, as it offered her the opportunity to receive feedback from industry experts. Hoping to take her innovation further, Dressler seeks to eventually prototype and patent her fridge and freezer.

According to Madeleine Guenette, executive director of the Science Fair Foundation, the finalists were selected based off their ability to communicate and pitch their design, alongside the ingenuity of their idea and the marketability and viability of their innovation. Previous finalists have even gone on to create real products currently in the marketplace.

“We encourage all youth with a great idea or a passion for innovation to take part in the showcase, even if their idea is still at the early stages or not fully formed,” said Guenette. “We are here to guide you through the process and connect you with the resources you need.”

Run by The Science Fair Foundation of BC alongside partners and sponsors including the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation and the Ted Rogers Community Grant, the YIS also hosts tech talks and virtual workshops for youth, further exposing them to innovation occurring throughout the two provinces.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

(File Photo)
Riders challenge Rockies in last game prior to mandated break

KIJHL games are set to resume on Dec. 4 following a two week long pause

Loblaws reports worker tested positive for COVID-19 in Fernie

The worker’s last shift at Kevin’s Your Independent Grocer was on November 10

(Black Press file)
Interior Health reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

In the region, health authority reports 235 total active cases

Kelsey Merton and Sam Finnigan enjoy the comedic acts. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Infinitea sets stage for amateur women comedians

The joyful event encouraged local ladies to take the stage while celebrating Infinitea’s closure

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Most Read