Stormwater, its impacts, mechanisms, and mitigation strategies are poorly understood by the public. This results in challenges for civil services to justify large capital investments into infrastructure, or programs and policies to protect public property and environmental health. In addition, the public is often ill-equipped to understand the impacts of their own actions on aging infrastructure, are not informed of practices that can protect themselves, and may contribute to the problem through their own actions. Standard public information sessions, pamphlets, online information, and newsletters have not been effective in enlightening the public. This knowledge-gap is seen in all age groups and backgrounds.
From recent trials with elementary school students, hands on experiences were found to be much better at engaging and instilling understanding than traditional outreach methodologies. The challenge then is to create professional, safe, cost-effective, and easily deployable “experiences” that can educate the public on various stormwater topics.
Did you miss our informational webinar on September 27th, 2022? Watch the recording here.
Competing teams will design and create “experiential” kits (similar to those by KiwiCo) that can be manufactured by the City of London and made available for a target audience.
Ideally, the kits should be suitable for a large range of age groups; however, it would be acceptable if it only targets grades 3 to 8. The kits may be deployed by City staff at information workshops for large infrastructure projects to assist with understanding the value of stormwater projects, sent to schools for use in the classroom, or made available for loan in the library for the public.
Simple and safe materials, reusability, and intuitive design are paramount. The City of London intends to create working prototypes and short runs using CNC machines, 3D printers, and laser cutters.
Informational Webinar from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Registration Closes at 11:59 PM EST
Mentorship Workshop from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
Skills Development Workshop from 1:00 PM - 2:00pm EST
Project Submission Deadline at 11:59 PM EST
Live Demonstrations from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
As part of the competition, an informational webinar will be hosted in partnership with the City of London on September 27th, 2022 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST. The purpose of this webinar is to provide additional information about the lesson topics outlined above. Students are encouraged to attend the webinar live, but if they are unable to attend, a recording will be made available afterwards. The City of London has also provided a list of additional resources below that students can review.
Rain It In will also host a virtual mentorship workshop on October 15th, 2022 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST to help connect students with industry professionals who will provide mentorship on their project ideas and share information about different career opportunities. Rain It In will also host a virtual skills development workshop on October 22nd, 2022 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST to teach students the fundamentals of how to give an effective pitch.
In addition to the resources provided by the City of London and Rain It In, student teams are allowed and encouraged to do their own research and make their own connections with industry professionals as needed.
Flood Control Structures in London
Fanshawe Dam & Reservoir – Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
Recreational Dams – Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
The City of London Dyke System – Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
The original West London Dyke (WLD) was constructed in the 1880’s along the Thames River. After extreme floods in 1937 and 1947 left thousands of homes underwater, sections of the dyke were raised in order to increase protection. To further protect the homes within the floodplain, the new dyke was designed to protect against the 1:250 year flood event. To date, over 1.4km of the WLD spanning from the Forks of the Thames to north of Oxford Street has been upgraded to this higher level of protection. The remaining west leg spanning from the Forks to Cavendish Park is now being worked on for completion.
For the purpose of the competition, teams do not need to concern themselves with external packaging (e.g. what box everything will come in). If they do design packaging, it will be excluded from overall cost metrics for comparison purposes.
All project deliverables should be submitted to the Google Drive for evaluation by November 6th, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST. A unique link will be provided to each student team after registration closes to use for their submission.
The competition will be hosted virtually and registration is open to students studying at a Canadian college or university.
Teams should consist of three to six members.
As climate change is a multi-sectoral problem, we recommend that participants build diversified teams across various programs to gain different perspectives and skills useful for developing a successful innovation. Students do not need to be attending the same educational institution to be on the same team.
We also strongly encourage student teams to work with mentors from their institution’s internal incubator or accelerator programs.
The deadline to register your team is October 9th at 11:59PM EST.
Click here to register.
All students who complete the challenge in full will receive a participation certificate.
The judging panels will be comprised of individuals from a variety of backgrounds which could include municipal, academic, engineering, regulatory, conservation, communications, public education, and outreach. The number of judges and their affiliations will be shared throughout the competition.
There are two different judging panels who will evaluate the project submissions during the competition:
The teams who will be invited to pitch live on November 30th, 2022 will be notified by email by November 20th, 2022. Teams who did not make it to the top five are allowed and encouraged to attend the live demonstration event.
The scoring sheet has been designed for the judges to use to evaluate the project submissions. The same evaluation criteria will be used by both panels of judges as the basis for judging all submissions.
Rain It In will reimburse up to $100.00 per eligible team for costs associated with the creation of a prototype.
Ms. Chambers holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo (Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Options) and a Diploma of Public Administration from Western University.
As Division Manager, she focuses on delivering practical and effective stormwater infrastructure programs to benefit both the natural environment and the greater community. Ms. Chambers is committed to sustainability, innovation, and challenging the way “it’s always been done.”
Mr. Rozentals is responsible for managing the drinking water assets of the City of London including infrastructure renewal, development review, billing, conservation, and outreach.
He is a graduate of Western University in Civil Engineering and has worked for the City of London in various capacities since 2007.
Mr. Williamson is responsible for managing over 6000 hectares of land in both rural and urban environments, including active and passive CA’s, Provincially Significant Wetlands, forests, flood plains, agricultural lands and urban natural areas. He draws on his 25 years of forestry and land management experience, working with community partners to provide forest management, ecological restoration, risk management, enforcement, wildlife and invasive species management.
As a Registered Professional Forester and ISA Arborist he understands the importance of balancing the management of natural heritage features while fostering strong relationships between the UTRCA, partner municipalities, indigenous communities, community groups, rental tenants, club and lease agreements and all levels of government.
Ms. Mutch is a former Learning Coordinator for Environmental Education and Science for the TVDSB where she supported the learning of teachers in these areas. She worked on the development of the Elementary and grade 9 Science curriculum documents for the Ministry of Education, as well as digital learning resources for elementary Science for TVO.
She is currently Vice Principal at Medway High School and brings with her 3 students to the judging panel.
The City of London is the municipal government for London (Canada), located in southwestern Ontario with a population of approximately 422,000. London is the 11th largest metropolitan area in Canada and is among the fastest growing cities in the country. Situated along the Thames River and within the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) area, London experiences flooding during severe weather events. In response, the City is working to improve its aging infrastructure.
London was one of the first cities in Ontario to create a stormwater charge to support the implementation of stormwater infrastructure that protects the City, residents, and the environment. Today, the City continues to make rapid improvements to mitigate the impacts of climate change and the increasing frequency of severe storms.