Exhibit A - Canada Wide Science Fair Participation
I participated in the science fair every year I was in school, and progressed to the national level 6 consecutive years in a row; every year I was eligible, breaking past attendance records.
Click on a year below to view project description & awards.
Through my participation in the science fair I developed a series of invaluable skills that are extremely applicable to the real world. Each projects is judged not just the quality of the science, but also the originality of the ideas developed, the visual presentation of the project on a display board, the written abstract of the project, and the oral presentation in a one on one environment with highly knowledgable judges.
Some key take aways from this experience are:
Self motivation to complete a project
A high degree of attention to detail
Strong wrote communication skills
Oral presentation and professionalism
Project Spotlight: The SkiBreeze - A Ski Innovation
My 2012 project for the Canada Wide Science fair was the design, prototyping, and developing of a tracked snow transportation system designed to be a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional skidoo for transportation of a single person. For this project I received a silver medal excellence award at the national level.
Click here to view a short video of the SkiBreeze demonstrating a variety of potential applications.
Exhibit B - Designing and Building RC Aircraft
For over a decade I've been building and flying radio controlled airplanes, and well before the consumer drone industry took off I was using custom built fixed wing aircraft to fly a camera for aerial videography and photography. Early on, I started making YouTube videos about the aircraft I was building, and quickly realized the potential of using videos to share ideas and connect with people from around the world. It was through these projects that I became passionate about video production, and learnt valuable skills that later allowed me to start my own successful production company. I gradually amassed a substantial following on YouTube for my RC videos, and also started making videos exploring experimental flight topics such as KF airfoils, annular wings, and more. To date, I have acquired nearly 20,000 subscribers and 5 million views on this YouTube channel. Some screenshots of sample videos are showcased below.
Through this experience, I acquired a variety of tangible skills that I've applied in a professional setting over the past few years. I am an expert radio controlled aircraft pilot, a skill that is becoming less common but more important than ever in a drone industry where GPS stabilization and positioning do 90% of the work 90% of the time. My piloting skills allow me to fly drones in complex environments, and with a high degree of confidence. I have a strong understanding of the components used in commercially available UAVs, as many parts, such as batteries, radio systems, motors and speed controllers, were initially developed for use in RC planes at the hobbyist level.
I take pride in having introduced a large number of people to the hobby. One of my videos, shown right, has nearly half a million views, and I have received a large number of comments and personal messages from people who, by watching this video, have been able to build their own radio controlled airplane and learn about the flying. I believe that one of the most important aspects of good science is the ability to break down complex topics in a way that is easy to follow, but also interesting for the general public.
The metrics for this video show a high level of organic growth and viewer engagement.
Click below to view a sample video
Aerial Videography - Then and Now
From the very first time I flew a radio controlled airplane, I was captivated by the possibilities for photography and first person view video. Over the years, I experimented with different cameras and mounting systems. Eventually, I built a custom designed aircraft specifically for slow flight characteristics with a payload. Today, using multi rotor aircraft, I have shot aerial video and photos for a wide range of clients.
A first test flight of a custom built videography aircraft.
My current aerial demo reel.
Exhibit C - Metal Fabrication Projects
I was fortunate enough to take some college level welding courses while in high school to learn the basics of metal fabrication. I have used the skills learnt for a variety of projects, such as designing and building a custom carrier solution for a large fixed wing UAS, commissioned by the University of Calgary. The R.A.C.K (Remote Aerial Carrying Kit) was a highly efficient tool for ongoing fieldwork in the geography department. Another project (top right) was an outdoor fireplace I designed using a CAD tool, and welded from flat bar, sheet metal, and expanded steel.
Exhibit D - Custom Camera Equipment
When I started getting into video production, I quickly found that professional grade equipment is extremely expensive. To overcome budget limitations, I initially designed and built some key piece of gear, such as a motorized camera slider and a camera crane. I realized that the need for quality DIY options for other amateur film makers was out there, and I modified my original designs so that they could be built using readily available parts, minimal tools, and no specialized experience. Then I made high quality instructional videos about the projects. This reverse engineering process proved to be very successful. A camera slider frame I initially welded together from aluminum could be epoxied instead with a few minor design modifications. A camera crane that used custom bearing assemblies functioned just as well using roller blade wheels. Complex stepper motor programming was replaced with simple circuitry using microswitches to end the range of travel on a motorized camera slider. These videos have been featured all around the web on indy film making blogs, channels and groups.