PAST WINNERS

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2016
The Walking School Bus Reading Program

Education

Aaron Friedland
Canada

"A mutually beneficial program that provides greater incentive for students to connect with their readings while simultaneously positively impacting literacy overseas."

The Walking School Bus volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them readily available through audio recordings.

These recordings are then sent to our partnered schools with the attached PDF's or physical copies. Students in our partnered schools have the opportunity to listen and read simultaneously. This works as a great teaching tool, impresses proper annunciation onto our students, and fosters peer-to-peer community and kindness.

As volunteer readers, we gain the practical skills of reading aloud, ensuring that our classes have read their required readings, and understand that all of this is empowering education!

At present, we record books in English however if you wish to record in an additional language, please let us know.

You do not need any prior experience to volunteer for our reading program, nor do you need to audition. All you need is your voice, some free software, your computer, and maybe an inexpensive microphone.

Our partnered schools represent an incredible mix of Schools across Canada, The USA and a remarkable and unique group of schools located in Uganda. These 3 schools in Uganda (1 high school and 2 primary schools) share a marvelous commonality, they are all interfaith schools. These interfaith schools consist of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish students, who have put faith-based differences aside in pursuit of collaborative education.Â

Our reading program has enabled these students to read and record books and share them with each other. The results have been remarkable. However, there has been immense demand for other schools to join our program with schools around the world, including schools for the blind. At this point, we need to develop a more intuitive recording system to empower literacy.

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2014
A New Approach to Prosthetic Design and Integration

Medical Biotech, Technology

Marin Schultz
Canada

"I want to change the world by making strong, inexpensive, 3D printed prosthetic hands. These hands would be controlled with a new breath pressure system and be easily serviceable with commonly available parts. It is my dream to help people."

Patients who are living with the loss of their hands are unable to take care of themselves without some form of prosthetic device. Outside of North America, 80 to 85 percent of worldwide amputees are survivors of blasts from land mines.Mines are responsible for over 26,000 amputations per year and have produced 300,000 amputees worldwide. They have caused more injury than both nuclear devices exploded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined (Berry, Dale. From Land Mines to Lawn Mowers Prosthetic Rehabilitation Proceeds One foot at a Time, The Washington Diplomat, 19 January 2005). My dream is to help these people. My proposal takes advantage of new inexpensive 3D printing technology to create a robust 3D printed arm and hand. I have already developed a prototype arm/hand and I have invented a new prototype breath-pressure control system. This prosthetic is both easy to control, robust and inexpensive.

The plans and technology I develop for this project would be made available online or in kit-form. The electronic parts are easily obtained at any electronics hobby store and could potentially be scavenged from existing technology. It is my goal to establish local, sponsored prosthetic dispensary nodes around the world, which would custom print, assemble and fit the devices to any and all who need them. My system is easily repaired as all wearing parts are re-printable, and my control system just as reliable as traditional control systems (EMG and muscle flexion) but at a fraction of the cost. I estimate that one hand/arm combination with a controller could be produced with wholesale parts for around $300 Canadian dollars. This makes it among the least expensive high functioning prosthetics available in the world.

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2013
Photosynthetic Dragonflies For the Purpose of Balancing the Ecosystem

Technology

Charles Rose
Canada

Charles Rose, the grand prize winner of the “Searching for the Next Einstein” online contest presented his winning Big Idea at the Canadian dinner. Charles’ idea was chosen over thousands of entrants for his innovative concept of developing photosynthetic dragonflies for the purpose of balancing the ecosystem. As the contest winner, Charles was awarded $10,000 and a trip to Israel to experience the Hebrew University first hand.