Community Collaboration key to progress

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

Three of Sherbrooke’s major educational institutions, Bishop’s University, Champlain Regional College Lennoxville, and Université de Sherbrooke, have kicked things into high gear with three important initiatives that will help provide further support to the local community during this during this difficult time. On Wednesday morning, Bishops University’s IT department donated 19 computers, screens, mice, keyboards, and cables to ‘Un ordi pour nos élèves (région de Sherbrooke).’ ‘Un ordi pour nos élèves (région de Sherbrooke)’ is a group organized by Christelle Lefevre with the goal of getting computers and technological devices to elementary school students that may not have them at home to help them continue to engage with their learning during confinement. “This was spearheaded by our Human Resources Department that heard about Christelle Lefevre’s initiative and they spoke to people in our IT department,” said Olivier Bouffard, Head of Communications for the university.
While the IT department usually has a garage sale every year to help get rid of old computers, amongst other things, this was the perfect opportunity to contribute to a good cause.
“It seemed like a good thing to do. Once or twice a year we will have a garage sale for people who want a cheap computer they can buy them off of us but giving them to a charitable cause is also good way to get rid of the equipment.”
With the help of Elite Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram et Sherbrooke Fiat, who provided a truck for easier transportation, the equipment was delivered to various families in Sherbrooke all while respecting social distancing measures.
Wednesday morning was a big day for both of Lennoxville’s higher education institutions with Champlain Regional College recently taking on their own initiative by lending a help hand to the CHUS Hotel Dieu in their fight against the Coronavirus. Daniel Poitras and Steph Auger, the core of Champlain’s Essential Services team, made a surprise delivery to the CHUS Hotel Dieu of various pieces of equipment from the school’s Nursing Program labs including two cardiac monitors, 6 IV pumps, 2 medical carts, and 12,000 masks. Université de Sherbrooke recently launched their own initiative to design protective face masks that can be produced in large quantities in the Eastern Townships in the form of the ‘Fait en Estrie’ design challenge.
As stated in their press release, the Coronavirus has posed a major challenge on the supply of protective equipment for health care personnel, especially face masks, and it is only going to become more of a challenge in the next upcoming months. To find quick and local solutions to meet the need for face masks, the initiative involves encouraging the student population and Eastern Townships community to respond to this need through the expertise of local suppliers and industrialists. The first phase of the challenge, which ends on April 14th, involves having each team, or individual, study the best solutions for rapidly designing medium to large scale protective masks. These projects will be examined by a panel of experts who will analyze the concepts proposed by people and their production potential. The three best projects will receive a $1,000 prize and then they will move on to Phase 2 of the challenge where the concepts will be tested and scaled with the help of Université de Sherbrooke staff members and the institution’s manufacturing facilities. Members of Createk, the Studio de creation, and 3IT will partner with participants and accompany them to help bridge that gap with potential industrial partners.
To take part in the challenge, you can either register alone or as part of a team. If you register as a team, at least one member needs to be a student from the university but the challenge is open to the entire community. Teams must respect the health instructions that will be given and avoid face-to-face meetings. All communications will take place using the Teams platform; a link will be sent upon registration. Companies hoping to get involved can contact that organizing committee with the type of help they can provide or if they are interested in starting mask production.
For more information about the Fait en Estrie challenge, you can visit

Published in the Friday, April 10 edition of The Record.

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