University of Calgary

On track to a Full-filling career

UToday HomeApril 19, 2012

By Nathan Long

Eden Full in Kenya installing her SunSalute. Photo provided by Eden FullEden Full in Kenya installing her SunSalute. Photo provided by Eden FullThe University of Calgary is hosting the CYSF’s 50th anniversary at the Olympic Oval April 18 - 21.

For the past 50 years, judges at the Calgary Youth Science Fair (CYSF) have seen their fair share of exceptional students and innovative projects. Like Calgary’s Eden Full. She’s an eight-time participant in CYSF, participant in Canada Wide Science Fairs in 2006 and 2009, and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2007 and 2008.

Full’s interest in solar technology began with her 2002 CYSF entry “Make Way for Solar Cars.” It was a theme that continued throughout her teens and led to her founding the social enterprise Roseicollis Technologies to deploy the inventions that came from her extensive research into optimizing solar panel technology for use in developing nations.

“My goal as a social entrepreneur is to distribute the solar panel system I invented in developing countries,” she says. “Through the opportunities at the Calgary and Canada Wide Science Fairs, and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, my childhood interest transformed into something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

As a high school student, Full spent a summer working at the university’s Centre for Advanced Solar Materials learning how solar cells work and how to develop and adapt the technology.

Full’s final science fair project in 2009—“Dynamic Photovoltaics: The Sustainable SolArray” — was the culmination of her research and innovation efforts to produce the SunSaluter, a low-cost technology that rotates solar panels in order to track the path of the sun, increasing the amount of solar energy that the panels can collect.

The SunSaluter does not require external electricity and can be readily deployed in developing nations to improve access to electricity. The technology was first piloted in the central Kenyan village of Mpala.

“I want the profound impact that science fair has had on me to happen to others,” Full says. “Having a chance to develop my own independent project, present it to others and make friends along the way gave me very critical life experiences that I didn't have just by being in school. I was able to understand the importance of applying science and engineering to innovate and help make a difference in the world.”