An international team of experts has chosen two Canadian projects to compete with 38 other projects in the finals for the “Mondialogo Engineering Award”, the first worldwide intercultural contest seeking ideas for sustainable technical improvements in developing countries.
The “Mondialogo Engineering Award” is an initiative from DaimlerChrysler and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) aimed at the worldwide promotion of dialogue among civilizations. The initiative calls on students from industrialized and developing countries to work together on technical proposals addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradication of poverty and the promotion of environmentally sustainable development. Engineering students at Ryerson University in Toronto collaborated with students at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon to submit their project called “Use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for land mine detection”.
Students at McGill University in Montreal worked together with students at the Universidad National de Ingeneria in Managua, Nicaragua on a project called the “Current lack of lighting systems in rural areas of Nicaragua”. Assessment of the project ideas was based on the criteria of technical excellence, sustainability, feasibility and intercultural dialogue within the project group.
More than 1,700 young engineers and students from 79 countries registered for the contest and formed 412 international teams. The winners will be announced during an international ceremony at the end of May in Berlin, Germany. The goal of Mondialogo is to encourage dialogue between people who work together across continents on a joint project.
This cooperation is intended to develop understanding, tolerance and friendship between people with different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds. In addition to the “Mondialogo Engineering Award”, the partnership initiated by UNESCO and DaimlerChrysler also includes the “Mondialogo School Contest”, a worldwide contest aimed at promoting intercultural dialogue between school students and an Internet Portal in four languages with a magazine featuring intercultural topics.
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