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Cleantech Commons Partners with “Rain It In” Student Competition

Cleantech Commons is partnering again this year with Rain It In – an annual competition that invites post-secondary students to collaborate to solve real-world problems.

The focus of this initiative is on creating innovative solutions that will mitigate the impacts of intense rainfall events and flooding caused by climate change to both help create new career opportunities for students and implement solutions that will positively impact communities and the environment.

Rain It In is built around three core pillars: providing experiential learning opportunities for students; creating an industry spotlight through a mentorship program, which networks students with industry professionals to learn about different career paths in the water space; and implementing change by supporting students with the transition from ideas to entrepreneurship and product commercialization.

As part of the Rain It In competition, students gain hands-on experience as they research the impact of uncommon rainfall events and the risks of increased flooding. Teams selected to participate will receive support from industry experts to bring their projects to life.

We support Rain It In because it provides a unique experiential learning opportunity for students to take the knowledge and skills they are developing through their education and apply this to a challenging real-world problem,” Cleantech Commons executive director, Martin Yuill says.

This year, the project host will be the Town of Ajax.

Across Canada, municipalities are dealing with the effects of flooding and identifying the need to prioritize flood and stormwater management. The impacts of flooding are widespread and can cause damage to property and critical infrastructure, disrupt transportation systems, and pose a serious risk to public health and safety.

The Corporation of the Town of Ajax has identified the need to address these impacts proactively.

Increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, ageing stormwater infrastructure, and increased urbanization exacerbate the problem and highlight the importance of building resilience towards these impacts. As the Town of Ajax experiences unprecedented urban growth, collaboration and innovation is key to addressing the devastating impacts of flooding.

Trent University’s School of the Environment, Water Quality Centre, Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research, and Inorganic Materials Research Laboratory on the east bank of the campus

In Trent University and Fleming College Peterborough has two top-tier environmental academic institutions, and it would be wonderful to see our region’s students embrace this opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change,” Yuill, says.

Our partner, Trent University, was recently recognized for its environmental leadership through education and its  Lands and Nature Areas Plan by being awarded the Otonabee Conservation Environmental Excellence Award for Business.”

Trent has also been ranked First in Canada for Sustainability Education & Research and has maintained its standing as the third most sustainable university in Canada according to the 2021 UI GreenMetric World University Ranking

You can check out previous Rain It In competition solutions here!

Registration is now open for Rain It In’s annual competition! This year’s competition will be hosted virtually.

Why Participate?

  • Rain It In provides a unique experiential learning opportunity for students where they can take the knowledge and skills they are developing through their education and apply it to a real-world problem.
  • Through a mentorship program, students can network with industry professionals and learn about different career paths in the water space.
  • The competition is also a great extra-curricular activity that can help students develop technical and transferable skills and participation can be added to a resume to help students stand out from other candidates when applying to jobs.
  • After the competition, Rain It In will assist students interested in pursuing the development of their solutions by connecting them with resources, mentors and programs.

Building Your Team

Teams should consist of 3 to 6 members. Though it is not mandatory, we strongly encourage participants to build diversified teams across various programs to gain different perspectives and skills useful for developing a successful innovation. Along with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) students, other programs that could be considered when building a team are Horticulture, Water Quality, Environmental Sciences, Marketing, Finance, Public Relations, etc. Note: Students do not need to be attending the same post-secondary institution to be on the same team

Your Innovation

The purpose of this competition is for teams to create innovations that can be implemented in their communities to reduce the impact of intense rainfall events. Teams have the option to design a brand new innovative solution or to modify and improve an existing one. Innovations are not restricted to being physical products like rain barrels, rain gardens, or blue roofs, but can also be technologies, outreach, education campaigns, fundraisers, games and more. Teams are to look at their community and environment when designing their product and innovations can be made for an urban or rural application. At the end of the competition, teams will have a chance to network with each other to determine if there is an opportunity to merge their ideas and collaborate to expand on their innovations.