Every year the Praxis II Showcase takes its place in the Hart House Great Hall, where bright-eyed first year EngScis present their innovative solutions to problems faced by communities throughout the GTA. Their goal is to improve these communities’ lived experiences, addressing the issues using engineering communication and design. This year brought a multitude of designs, focusing on a wide range of topics from improving process efficiency at the Black Oak Brewery facility to refining needle stabilization at the Canadian Blood Services Clinic. While many of the students were interviewed by the media, including a sledge hockey equipment carrying solution featured in The Globe and Mail, one team really caught the media’s attention from the get-go.
Praxis II Showcase 2015
The team’s focus was on “Addressing Shaving Complications for Patients of Huntington’s Disease”; their solution an arm stabilization tool, garnering a lot of attention and landing them a spot at the Innovation and Design for Accessibility (IDeA) Competition. They called their solution C.A.R.E. for Huntington’s.
The team gave a brief account of their experience with the Praxis project and its takeoff since the Showcase:
“We have always kept a close tie with the Huntington’s Society in Toronto ever since we began this project in January; they broadcasted our project in their email newsletter which connected us to many stakeholders.
“Our first exposure to public media was during the Praxis Showcase, where we were interviewed and had our photos taken by a reporter from NOW Magazine. We had the time to briefly explain the challenges faced by Huntington’s patients and how our project aims to address that. We are very grateful that the reporter used our photo as the cover of his article. At that same occasion, one of our group members, Caulan Rupke, represented us in a CBC radio interview, thanks to the referral of class instructor Prof. Irish.
“More recently, from our participation of the Innovation and Design for Accessibility competition, we received media coverage from the Toronto Star and CityNews. This time, we were contacted prior to the exhibition about the possibility of media coverage by the host of the event Council of Ontario Universities; hence we were able to prepare a short and concise description of our project. The interviews went very smoothly at our table during the People in Motion Show with Toronto Star in the morning and CityNews in the afternoon. Our group members Siddharth Pai and Tianshi Cao, who attended this event, demonstrated our prototype in front of the camera, showcasing our device in motion.
“Currently, we are preparing ourselves for the Accessibility Innovation Showcase, hosted by the Ontario Government, and we look forward to interacting with the public, media, and investors at the venue.”