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Poo Power! Global Challenge

Posted Wednesday 20th November 2013, 12:00pm
Poo Power! Global Challenge


Students invited to compete in global dog poo competition 

[For immediate release]

Students and classes will be pitched against each other to see who can identify the most and largest dog poo 'hotspots' in their local neighbourhood in the 'Poo Power! Global Challenge', available to everyone, everywhere.

Participating schools and students will use their 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 over a 2 week period starting Monday 25 November 2013.

This eyebrow-raising initiative is a collaboration between dog poo entrepreneur Duncan Chew from Poo Power! and Mia Cobb from the Anthrozoology Research Group, recent winner of I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! in Australia

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.

"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."  

Mia Cobb echoes her enthusiasm for the initiative: "This is the great way to utilise the prize money from winning the I'm A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here! competition to raise awareness of new sustainable energy sources, environmental issues and responsible dog ownership 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-based project, 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.

Competition prizes and giveaways are up for grabs for the most photo submissions received between 25th November and 9th December 2013.

Visit www.poopower.com.au for full competition details.


(Image: Steven Pam)

About Mia

Mia Cobb is a zoologist and current PhD candidate at Monash University, researching working dog welfare. She has worked in animal shelter, stable and kennel facilities for 20 years. Mia thinks helping scientific research jump out of the academic journals and into the laps of everyone is fun and important. She blogs about canine science at Do You Believe in Dog? and co-hosts the Human Animal Science podcast. Mia is a founding Director of the Working Dog Alliance and recently won her zone in the national I'm a Scientist - Get Me Out of Here! competition - an Australian Idol-style competition for scientists, where students are the judges.

About Duncan and Poo Power!

Did you know that the 4.2 million dogs in Australia will generate 6.3 million tonnes of poo over their lifetimes? That's a mountain's worth that we dump in landfills or leave uncollected to pollute our rivers and beaches. Duncan Chew is the man behind Poo Power! - a Melbourne Water supported project that shines a light on this innovation. Through his website, iPhone app and other outreach activities Duncan shows Australians that we can keep our cities and waterways clean while producing renewable energy to light our dog parks. Duncan is the owner of two Boxers - Sally (14) and Diesel (7).

Winner Announced

Congratulations to Ethan Cheah from Ainslie Parklands Primary School! Wth the help of his mum, Ethan identified their local park as a dog poo hotspot and as a potential site for a Poo Power! biogas generator.

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About Diesel


Diesel is an inspiration. Plus he makes some of the poo. Diesel is proof that one pooch can make a difference.

More about Diesel...
Poo Power! is supported by:
  • Green Nation
  • Yarra Energy Foundation
  • Melbourne Water
  • Inspiring Australia
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