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It started when two canine scientists decide to become pen pals in an era of digital media...

Friday, 22 November 2013

Poo Power! Global Challenge

Hey Julie,
it's not every week I get to issue an invitation to the entire world, but that's exactly what I'm doing today!

Mia
Students invited to compete in global dog poo competition:

Poo Power! Global Challenge launches Monday 25 November 2013


Students and classes will be pitched against each other to see who can identify the most and largest dog waste 'hotspots' in their local neighbourhood in the 'Poo Power! Global Challenge'. Participants use a GPS-enabled iPhone to download the free Poo Power! App from the App Store. Their task is to identify and map dog poo 'hotspots' in dog parks and public spaces from their neighbourhood from Monday 25 November 2013. 

While the initial competition is being run for students and schools, anyone, anywhere can participate and contribute to this citizen science initiative.
Duncan & Diesel from Poo Power!
This eyebrow-raising project is a collaboration between dog poo entrepreneur Duncan Chew from Poo Power! and me (!), as a way to say thanks to all the students who voted for me to win I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! in Australia recently. The collected information will be uploaded onto the Global Poo Map and provides a platform for students to discuss the scientific, social and environmental issues of dog waste. The students are then encouraged to write a letter to their local Government representative of their findings and recommendations. Citizen science at it's finest! 

Scientific American are currently featuring Poo Power! on their Citizen Science website

"From our research only 3% of Australians see uncollected dog waste as an environmental concern," explains Duncan Chew. "When it rains, uncollected dog poo gets washed down drains, effecting water quality and habitat for native animals, as well as making rivers and creeks unpleasant for us to visit."  

I just think this is a great way to utilise the prize money from winning the I’m A Scientist – Get Me Out of Here! competition; it raises awareness of new sustainable energy sources, environmental issues and responsible dog ownership, all while increasing student engagement in a citizen science activity.
The collated information has the poo-tential to identify sites for biogas-powered lights for parks as proposed by the Melbourne-basedproject, Poo Power!, currently in development. The methane that is released from the dog waste as it breaks down inside a 'biogas generator' can be used as a viable renewable energy source.
Photo: Steven Pam

Competition prizes and giveaways are up for grabs for students whose submissions are received between 25th November and 9th December 2013. After this initial competition period closes, the project will continue to run, collecting ongoing hotspot data worldwide.
Check out everything you need to know at www.poopower.com.au
Download the full instructions to participate here

To contextualise the material for classroom lessons, teachers can download the Poo Power! Study Guide

Competition details

Individual student prizes include 2 iPod Shuffles (for the two students who log the most hotspots) and 4 Doggie Doo games (random giveaways to people mapping hotspots) during the two week competition period.
For each competing class, teachers will receive a copy of the 'Dog Poo - The Truth At Last' on DVD. For contextualising the material for classroom lessons teachers are encouraged to download the Study Guide from the Poo Power! Resources page.
Download the full instructions to participate here
Further reading:

Okoroigwe E.C., Ibeto C.N. & Okpara C.G. (2010). Comparative Study of the Potential of Dog Waste for Biogas Production, Trends in Applied Sciences Research, 5 (1) 71-77. DOI:  

Nemiroff L. (2007). Design, Testing and Implementation of a Large-Scale Urban Dog Waste Composting Program, Compost Science & Utilization, 15 (4) 237-242. Link: click here to view PDF

© Mia Cobb | Do You Believe in Dog? 2013