Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

May 19, 2011 17:27 ET

Hants East Rural High School Students Team Up for $4500 Manning Innovation Award at Canada Wide Science Fair in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 19, 2011) - Nova Scotia's Charlotte Donaldson and Megan Smith share more than an interest in water safety and lifeguard training: Today they were named Young Canadian Innovation Award winners by the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation ( at the week-long Canada Wide Science Fair held at Seneca College in Markham.

Donaldson and Smith, Grade 11 students at Hants East Rural High School, were recognized for their development of an aquatic-rescue spinal board that significantly improves immobilization, particularly for children. The girls, also awarded a Canada Wide Science Fair Bronze Medal for their efforts, today received a $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award and an invitation to the 30th annual gala banquet of the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation to receive an additional $4000 Young Canadian Innovation Award on Friday, October 14, in Edmonton this October. Senator Pamela Wallin, OC, will emcee the event. The next day, Donaldson and Smith will participate in a day-long Celebration of Innovation Symposium at the University of Alberta.

Donaldson and Smith came up with the idea of developing a better body immobilization board when, while taking lifeguard and water safety training, they realized the difficulty associated with existing designs. After researching the spine's characteristics, surveying local first responders and closely examining existing products, they developed a new spinal board template and tested it—ultimately leading to a pending patent on their much improved innovation to help reduce the likelihood of paralysis for people requiring immediate immobilization after neck or back injury.

"Canada's future success and ability to grow depends on its capacity to innovate in all sectors and is the fundamental reason for the existence of the Manning Innovation Awards Foundation—to support, celebrate and encourage Canadians with the imagination to innovate and the stamina to succeed," said Foundation President David B. Mitchell. "This is especially important for the young bright minds we annually meet at the Canada Wide Science Fair."

Smith and Donaldson were among 509 finalists with 425 projects competing at the 50th national science fair.


For more information or to interview students, please contact the undersigned.

The spokesperson for Youth Science Canada/Science jeunesse Canada is Reni Barlow, Executive Director: 866-341-0040 or

Broadcast quality B roll footage and images of the students with their projects available.

About the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation: The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation recognizes the importance of Canadian innovation in strengthening our nation's capacity to compete in the global economy. The Foundation supports and celebrates Canadians with the imagination to innovate and the stamina to succeed. Visit for more information.

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