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Cloverdale teen brings rainy science to conference

Tyler Tardi at the  American Junior Academy of Science conference, presenting his Go Green with R.E.D. rain energy project. - Contributed
Tyler Tardi at the American Junior Academy of Science conference, presenting his Go Green with R.E.D. rain energy project.
— image credit: Contributed

A budding scientist from Cloverdale is at an international conference this weekend, sharing his findings on how to turn rain into electrical power.

Lord Tweedsmuir's Tyler Tardi is at the American Junior Academy of Science annual meeting, presenting his award-winning science project.

Tardi, a silver medalist at last year's national science fair, was invited to present his science project at the AJAS, running Feb. 16 to 19 as part of an international conference.

Thousands of scientists and researchers have converged in Vancouver for the American Association for the Advancement of Science Convention, being held outside the U.S. for the first time in 30 years.

The Grade 8 student's project will be peer-reviewed on Saturday, when he'll face questioning by his peers at the centre of a round-table discussion.

Last year, he earned a silver medal at the Canada Wide Science Fair for his Rain Energy Device, or R.E.D.

His "Go Green with R.E.D." project proved it's possible to tap into the electric power potential of rain by directing rainwater into a waterwheel placed inside a drain pipe – an hypothesis he tested after inspiration struck on a rainy day in Cloverdale.

He worked out that an average sized home roof in Cloverdale using his R.E.D. would have to run 340 hours a year in order to save two cents in home electricity costs.

The electricity produced is small, but Tardi believes it's got potential. And he's been working on ways to improve the device ever since, according to his mom, Anita.

She said Tyler had mixed feelings heading to the scientific conference, even though he recognizes what an incredible opportunity it represents. It turns out this is also the final weekend before the 2012 B.C. Winter Games get underway in Vernon, and his preference would have been to be on the ice.

Tyler, 13, and his older brother Jordan, 15, also an LTS student, are members of the Fraser Valley Zone's boy's curling team, heading to the games next weekend after a hard-fought road to the provincial games. The curling finals are Feb. 26.

"The boys really, really want to win," Anita said, noting a gold medal would qualify the team for the Optimist International Under 18 Curling Championships.

"They've been practicing like crazy," she said. "All they do is talk curling, and talk strategy."

 

See related story: 'Langley curlers take top spot.'

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