Nova Scotia

Grade 11 students win award for life-saving idea

Two students from Hants County win at the Canada Wide Science Fair in Toronto.

Two Nova Scotians were winners at the Canada Wide Science Fair this weekend in Toronto.

Megan Smith and Charlotte Donaldson — Grade 11 students from Elmsdale and Nine Mile River — designed a specialized piece of equipment that could save someone's life.

The two Hants East Rural High School students got the idea for a specialized aquatic-rescue spinal board when they were both training to be lifeguards at the Milford pool.

They noticed smaller people would not stay immobilized on the spinal board they were using.

"One of the girls in our class was about four feet tall and we would rescue her and rescue her and she always slid down the board and become 'paralyzed,' our instructor would say," said Donaldson.

That's when the girls decided to take action and their potential life-saving science project took on a life of its own.

"So what we've done is instead of having slots where the straps run, there are now ridges which allow for a free moving strap which accommodate any body size," said Smith.

Smith and Donaldson were medal winners at the science fair and received a $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award.

They'll also receive a $4,000 Young Canadian Innovation Award at the Ernest C. Manning Foundation’s 30th anniversary awards gala to be held in Edmonton this fall.

The girls say they will use some of the money to try and patent their product.