Earlier this year Cadboro Bay resident Nattan Telmer had the distinct privilege of sharing a Vancouver Aquarium treatment room with an adult Steller sea lion named Tasu.
Tasu was undergoing treatment and, simultaneously, Telmer was afforded the chance to temporarily affix a tracking sensor to the sea lion’s body. Telmer had constructed a case to surround the tracking sensor to use the animal’s heat to recharge the sensor’s batteries, extending its lifespan from six weeks to a year.
Telmer, a Grade 9 student at Mount Douglas secondary, is one of 143 teen scientists from across Vancouver Island registered to meet April 9 and 10 at the 56th Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair at the University of Victoria.
Last year Telmer designed a phone recharging system for the outdoors. It also used TEGs but the design was otherwise completely different. The charger could sit in the sun but is also more durable than a solar panel and could sit in a cold lake or charge while left outside during the night.
That design won Telmer gold at the 2016 Canadawide Science Fair in Montreal.
“We got to see the city, and stay at a dorm in McGill University, where the entire fair was held,” Telmer said.
This year’s Canadawide Science Fair is in Regina, in May, and Telmer has every intention of returning.
The science fair runs Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in UVic’s the Elliott Lecture Wing.