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Michael Ehman and Colby Mainil

Location: Weyburn, SK

Award: Young Canadians


Year: 2006


Step-Climbing Wheelchair

News Release

Saskatchewan students earn Manning Innovation Awards at Canada-wide science fair

SAGUENAY, QC — (May 19, 2006) Grade 11 students Michael Ehman and Colby Mainil from Weyburn Comprehensive School in Weyburn, Saskatchewan shared both a Award Manning Innovation Achievement Award and a Manning Young Canadian Innovation for their "Step Climbing Wheelchair" project at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Their "Step Climbing Wheelchair" created a new way for people in manual wheelchairs to climb single steps or curbs. Its simple, affordable design enables people with average upper body strength to independently climb a step without electrical or hydraulic systems and requires minimal retrofitting of the existing wheelchair.

The Canada Wide Science Fair is a week-long national event that brings together over 455 students and 369 projects. Those who qualify have distinguished themselves from amongst the approximately 25,000 young Canadians, grades 7 to 12, who compete in regional science fairs held in over 100 communities across Canada. The fair concludes Saturday at the University of Québec at Chicoutimi (UQAC) campus.

In addition to the $500 Innovation Achievement Award and the $4000 Young Canadian Innovation Award, their prize includes a trip to the national Manning Awards ceremony in Calgary on September 29th. Michael Ehman and Colby Mainil also received gold medals in the Engineering division, as well as the S.M. Blair Family Foundation Award.

Another Saskatchwan student, Benjamin Leis, won a $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award for his project "Potential de al production de methane suite a la codigestion du materiel bovin hydrolysé et du purin de porc" / "Potential for the production of methane after the co-digestion of hydrolyzed bovine waste and pork purin". Benjamin's project focused on testing the mix of bovine waste and pork purin to find a more effective way to capture methane gas from manure as an alternative renewable energy source. He hopes his project will encourage funding to explore alternative means of energy production with fewer emissions.

This is the 15th year that the Manning Awards Foundation has supported the Canada Wide Science Fair, recognizing the innovations of more than 75 bright minds at the high school level.

Bruce Fenwick, Executive Director, Manning Awards

Laura William, Youth Science Foundation Canada,