by Lilo Noort, CHAIM Centre Communications Intern
A thrilling six weeks came to an end this past Saturday, as the 2022 One Health Challenge concluded. The One Health Challenge is a systems-based approach that brings together human, animal, and environmental health to create an interdisciplinary approach to guide strategies for global health issues.
Back in January, Carleton undergraduate students were asked to consider the need for outdoor green spaces highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 30 students from a range of disciplines, including Industrial Design, Neuroscience, Engineering, Environmental Science (and more!) formed interdisciplinary groups. Teams were led by a graduate mentor also from different faculties and were each given the task of creating an intervention that promotes the use of green spaces to achieve public health benefits while balancing the potential negative effects on ecological health and biodiversity. Once they were introduced to the Challenge, they had the opportunity to work with a Facilitator from IBM specializing in design thinking and problem definition for the first two weeks of the Challenge.
Throughout the Challenge the students collaborated with their mentor to narrow their scope and consider the various perspectives of the One Health approach as they developed their intervention. They were supported by background information on the topic and also allowed to branch out to find different resources that would inform a product that showcased their expertise, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking. Student groups were then tasked with recording a 3-minute video pitch outlining their intervention in an engaging way for judges and audience members, and also supporting documentation for the judges.
The Final Event on March 19th began with introductions from the Director of the Centre, Dr. Kim Matheson, who provided a recap of the Challenge and thanked teams and mentors for their hard work over the last six weeks. This year, the event was introduced in partnership with the IBM Center for Advanced Studies and featured community experts from Ottawa Public Health, IBM, and The Delphi Group forming the judging panel.
The videos were played for the judges and the Carleton community members on the call who got to see a broad range of solutions surrounding greenspaces from physical spaces to community-based programs. Click here to see all of the 2022 OHC Team’s video pitches!
After the initiatives were presented, judges met with teams, to ask questions about their projects and learn more about their rationale and approach. While the judges deliberated, the audience was invited to a screening of a TEDx talk on Urban Green Spaces by Jessica Pendergrass.
The Challenge concluded when the judges announced the winning team: 'Green Days' made up of undergraduate students Malik Sylla, Veronica Yung, Ericka Uzoegwu, and Frank Li who were led by graduate mentor Sebastian Steven. Runner-ups were the ‘Community Flyers’ Team and the ‘Flowers for Hope’ Team. The winning team of the 2022 Challenge will receive a $100 cash prize and the chance to present their intervention at Carleton's annual Life Sciences Day 5.0 on May 10th, 2022 on Healthy Communities! The judges were impressed with the dedication and creativity from the student projects and are following up with the students teams to build on these ideas and to hopefully make them a reality.
The CHAIM Centre’s OHC Team is immensely proud of the hard work and commitment from all the student participants and graduate mentors throughout the 2022 OHC Student Challenge. Congratulations to all!