The Camel impresses

- December 10, 2008

The Camel is a wheelbarrow-like device designed to carry water and other goods.

African women spend up to eight hours a day carrying heavy jugs of water home for their families. While the women aren’t paid for this backbreaking labour, the cost is high. Women are kept from school and work, resulting in less economic and social development.

A group of high school students from across Canada representing Dalhousie have won three national awards for their innovative design to help put an end to this.

The student created Camel to Camel company designed a device that looks like a wheelbarrow, known as The Camel. The wheel is a large cylinder, capable of storing 30 litres of water. It’s connected to a large basket for carrying goods and attached is a LifeStraw water purifier.

“Women who spend most of their day going to the well to retrieve water will now be able to carry several days worth of water in a single trip,” says Katherine Rodd, team leader of the Camel to Camel Company. “The company believes the positive impact our product can have will now allow these women to start their own business, acquire education, or help out additionally around the community.”

The students took home the awards for best overall design, the Research in Motion best application of scientific principles and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) best prototype award at the 11th Annual RBC/Shad Entrepreneurship Cup in Waterloo, Ontario on October 16.

“All the recognition we received definitely attested to the amount of time and devotion that everyone put into the project,” says Ms. Rodd, 18, who hails from Toronto. “We were really surprised. We never expected to do that well.”

During the month of August, Dalhousie was home to 50 high school students from across Canada participating in the Shad Valley program. In addition to the three first place awards, the team took home several runner-ups.

“Above all, it’s an experience that will last a lifetime,” says Mary Kilfoil, Shad Valley program co-director and economics professor at Dalhousie. “The Shad Valley program offers Dalhousie an opportunity to showcase our very best to the students and perhaps inspire many of these bright minds to choose Dalhousie for post-secondary education,” she explains.

Shad Valley International is a national not-for-profit education organization based in Waterloo, Ontario, The program engages students in business and science and gives them the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and develop real world solutions.

LINK: Shad Valley


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