A Grade 12 Semiahmoo Secondary student who showcased her solar-power know-how in Taiwan is returning home this week with a bronze medal in hand.
Natasha Burgert earned third place in the Environmental Engineering category at the Taiwan International Science Fair for her three-wheeled, solar-powered bike.
The project, dubbed The Solar EV: Applying High Efficiency Solar Modules in Sustainable Transport, was designed, built and tested to operate continuously during sunny, daylight hours.
Burgert first showcased the trike to Peace Arch News a year ago, prior to entering the South Fraser Regional Science Fair last spring.
At that time, she said she built it because she “wanted to raise awareness and show people the power and the potential that renewable energy has.”
“People kind of often tend to dismiss renewables when it comes to vehicles and transportation. I wanted to show that something like a bike can be 100 per cent driven by solar panels, and it doesn’t have to be any worse than fossil fuels. Why couldn’t we apply this technology to boats or planes?” Burgert said.
“Just the impact that it can have, I think is just amazing.”
Burgert was one of two B.C. students to represent the province and country at the Taiwan science fair, held Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. Nicolas Fedrigo of Claremont Secondary (located in Saanich) also competed, claiming first place in the Engineering category for a project titled Improving Spinal Fusions: Redesigning the Pedicle Probe to Prevent Vertebral Breaches.
According to a news release from the Science Fair Foundation of B.C., the wins mark the fifth consecutive year that both Team BC students participating in the Taiwan science fair have returned home with medals.