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Fernie student wins award for unique invention

A Fernie student has won an award for developing a special wheelchair bowling ramp for her friend.

Jocelyn Tanton, a grade 11 student at The Fernie Academy was awarded a 2012 Manning Innovation Achievement Award.

When Tanton was asked by friend Grace Brulotte to develop a special wheelchair bowling ramp, enabling Grace to participate in a sport she loved, little did they both realize that request would lead to national prominence and recognition as a Manning Innovation Achievement Award winner at the 51st annual Canada Wide Science Fair held at the University of Prince Edward Island last week.

Tanton, 17, was judged from more than 80 projects under review, to win a $500 prize.

Although the award-winning five-pin bowling ramp allows Grace to independently join her family sport, despite living with Arthrogryposis, its design and function applies to other wheelchair models and opens up additional activity options for people who have limited strength and joint movement.

“This initiative is an innovative and enabling gift from a creative and industrious young mind to meet a need in society. It admirably illustrates the concept of innovation which we at the Manning Awards have been celebrating in Canada for the past 31 years,” said Foundation President David B. Mitchell.

Tanton was among the approximately 25,000 young Canadians in Grades 7 through 12 who earlier this year competed in regional science fairs across the country. Of these students, 500 finalists gathered at the 2012 Canada-Wide Science Fair, the showcase event of Youth Science Canada.

The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation introduced the Young Canadian Program in 1992 to recognize innovative Canada-wide Science Fair projects. Each year a judging team selects eight winning projects for the $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Awards, which were presented today in Charlottetown at the science fair awards ceremony.

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