TORONTO, ON- The Munk School of Global Affairs, the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Schools are hosting a new program where Toronto high school students learn from the nation’s top global health scholars. They have been tasked with designing an innovative new technology that address global health problems and will be presenting their findings on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.
Top performing students were selected by their schools to develop a solution inspired by Dr. Yu-Ling Cheng’s novel new toilet design. Dr. Cheng was awarded almost $400,000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for her waterless toilet design, which sanitizes waste within 24 hours. The aim is to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera in the developing world.
The students attended specialized lectures ranging on topics from behavioural economics, social financing, politics, and health demographics. A roster of top University of Toronto students mentored the students every step along their projects, imparting critical thinking and research skills.
“We want the students to develop an appreciation for how difficult it is to address global health problems,” notes Rajin Singh, a co-manager for the program. “What makes this program unique is that it brings together engineers, doctors, and political scientists to convey that message, and a set of mentors to provide academic support along the way.”
The program includes 12 schools from the Greater Toronto Area, each with a small team of students who will present their re-invented toilet model at a final symposium. Each school team will make a pitch to a panel of academics and professionals arguing why their model works to address local health problems and why they should receive funding.
The Global Ideas Institute is in its second year. “This is the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work and long hours for the students. Last year, the students delivered high calibre proposals. From what I’ve seen from the students so far, it seems they will be delivering nothing less.” Alongside their presentations, the students will also display a poster exhibition on their projects.
The Symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 17, from 9am to 3:30pm, at the Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility in the Munk School. It is sponsored and hosted by the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Schools.
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Toronto students pushed to think about health innovation at the Global Ideas Institute