Air Liquide answered the call and agreed to supply free-of-charge the liquid nitrogen needed for the personal science project of Raphaël Salvas, a high-school student in the Middle Education Program (MEP) at Collège Saint-Louis de Lachine, as part of a fundraising event dedicated to paediatric hemato-oncology research.
The ambitious goal of the MEP is to help young people become empowered, responsible and committed citizens in their environment. To graduate, they must carry out a "personal" project for the benefit of their community.
Raphaël's project was to simulate a business start-up, the proceeds of which will go to a charitable organization (the Charles-Bruneau Foundation) through the sale of ice cream produced with liquid nitrogen mixed with cream. An audacious project that required more than just salesmanship: "I love science and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary, so why not a stand where I could make ice cream on site with nitrogen! So I approached Air Liquide for a discount or a small sponsorship.”
And that’s how Air Liquide jumped in and became main sponsor, not only providing all the liquid nitrogen required but also technical support by experts at every stage of the project.
During training, the critical step was handling the liquid nitrogen, as the risks of cryogenic burns are to be considered. "I didn't expect to have to write an exam to enter the plant and take the training! Once I came in and saw how it worked, I understood the importance of safety and why it's a priority at Air Liquide", said Raphaël.
In his personal development path, Raphaël Salvas must complete high school and enrol at the Cégep in Pure and Applied Sciences in order to pursue studies in engineering and then in management. Maybe he'll work for a company like Air Liquide one day. “Why not, why not? This is exactly the field I am interested in and my experience with them has been very rewarding!”, he said.
For Denis Béliveau, draughtsman-designer at Air Liquide in Canada, who acted as coordinator and resource person for this project, Raphaël's initiative was an inspiring success "Raphaël completed his school-based approach to simulate a business start-up, while raising funds for research. Just by the traffic and the curiosity it generated, I can say that it was a great success!" he said.
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