On Earth Day, Ryerson hosted over 70 grade 8 students from Nelson Mandela Park and Winchester Public Schools. The event called "SCInnovation" was a dynamic event during which students interacted with experts to discuss and learn about climate change and its impacts on water quality and urban life. Students were asked to consider what they could do in their own neighbourhoods to make a difference and adapt to climate change. The ultimate goal of SCInnovation is to engage middle school students and encourage them to continue their science education in high school.
Students broke in to teams, each mentored by Ryerson graduate students and volunteers from (main sponsor) Ontario Clean Water Agency. Each group also spent 30 minutes with Ryerson professors who spoke about their research and its relevance to climate change. This was followed by inspiring presentations from the Water Brothers and the Honourable Lieutentant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
Teams presented 90 sec pitches to a panel of judges. There were 10 pitches that included solutions such as: shower heads to reward you for shorter showers, and infrared sensors to detect forest fires and manage the use of water to fight them.
The winning solution was a system of rainwater capture and reuse around sports arenas (stadiums). The students suggested this would reduce stress on municipal infrastructure such as storm water sewers reducing residential (basement) flooding and reducing pollution in local waterways (experienced during storms with combined sewer overflow). The winning pitch will have the opportunity to use seed funding from IBM to work with Ryerson's Social Ventures Zone and take their idea to implementation.