It’s hard to believe Eden Full when she says there is no such thing as a child prodigy. Before she could legally buy a drink in her hometown of Calgary, she had already developed a prototype for a solar panel that was forty percent more efficient than standard panels. “It’s really just a matter of hard work,” Full reasons.
That hard work led Full to develop SunSaluter—a solar panel that rotates with the movement of the sun without the need for the active, electrical motors that power conventional solar panels. Designed specifically for developing countries in dire need of extra juice, Full won the prestigious Thiel Fellowship—worth $100,000 over two years—along with partnerships with Siemens and press from the New York Times. But the fellowship was a bit of a gamble, pulling Full out of her college plans.