It is the basis of so much of the technology you see around you every day: everything from GPS to MRIs.
We’re talking Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity or E=mc².
It is also the basis for the Young Einstein Forum taking place in Montreal, an event that encourages Canadian youth to become leaders in the field of innovation.
A series of local and international speakers will be recounting their success stories to hundreds of students in a two-day event.
The speakers include Sir Ken Robinson, international educationalist and most watched TED speaker, Dr. Sandra Witelson, neuroscientist working on Einstein’s brain, among others.
On the local side, speakers include teenage inventors Marin Schultz from Lethbridge, Alta. and Katherine Sirois from Montreal.
At 13 year old, Schultz created a prosthetic arm controlled by a person’s breath.
The basis for that was an earlier model controlled by brainwaves.
“A one-handed boy came to my project and I helped him try the headset. And he was able to close the hand just by concentrating and he became very excited and he said, ‘Dad, I can close the hand!'” Schultz recounted.
“Ever since that moment, I was inspired to create prosthesis.”
Watch below: Global Calgary interviews Marin Schultz, winner of the Next Einstein competition
Sirois created a hat that would detect when a person falls asleep at the wheel.
The hat would set off an alarm and wake up the person to avoid accidents.
“My dad falls asleep at the wheel while he drives. I did some research and found it’s a very big problem — but much less addressed than speeding and alcohol,” Sirois said.
“My projects focus on real problems that need to be solved.”
They both want to encourage youth to pursue their creativity.
The forum’s founder believes the time is ripe for Canada and Montreal to lead in innovation.
“Montreal is really a good hub where there’s creativity, where there’s universities that are doing amazing things in the technical side, where there is finance and capital and we can bring all these things together and it’s our time now to lead the world in innovation,” Matthew Price-Gallagher said.
Price-Gallagher said there is consensus we’re on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution. He said the key to riding that wave successfully lies in our kids.
“We want to have a sustainable innovation ecosystem, it starts with the education of the kids.”
Kids like Schultz and Sirois who just need an ounce of inspiration to create a lifetime of change.