Competing in the Future Prize Challenge

Written by Gabe Sims, Allegra Mariani and Charlie Waghmare
Charlie Waghmare ‘25, Allegra Mariani ‘25 and Gabe Sims ‘24 travelled to Upper Canada College with Ms. Hall to compete in the Future Prize Challenge on January 30. This competition is hosted by Future Design School to engage students in creating solutions to real-world issues. This year's theme was centred around how we can use innovative technology to solve a climate-change-related problem.

Prior to the competition, we met numerous times to research an issue caused by climate change in our community. We decided to tackle the problem of flooding in Muskoka. After interviewing various individuals affected by the flooding and discussing our approach to the issue, we were ready for the challenge.

On the day of the event, we were led through a series of activities that encouraged us to use our critical thinking and collaboration skills, as well as tap into our empathy for those affected by the problem. Our group came up with the idea to create an app that monitors water levels in Muskoka. On the app you are able to utilize a hydraulic system that would lift your boathouse up and down. As well, you would be able to contact people in your community to help with your property and see trends and water levels. 

Once we had come up with this idea, we prepared a brief presentation that we pitched to a judge and other teams, similar to Dragon’s Den. 

In the end, it was a great experience and we learned a lot about design thinking in the process.
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