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In Montreal, homelessness is a big issue—there are around 5,789 homeless people in Quebec, and more than half of those are in Montreal. When tasked with coming up with an invention for their high school fair project, 15-year-old Pasha Jones and Adrianna Vutrano decided to do their part in helping those who live on the street year round. With easy to buy materials from a hardware store, the two have created a two-kilogram backpack that transforms into a shelter, aptly titled ‘A Portable House’. Lined with a space blanket, the teens believe it will keep the inhabitants six or seven degrees warmer during the colder months.

Jones and Vutrano won at their high school science fair and went on to show off their invention at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in New Brunswick. Now, the pair are looking for government agencies, a company or charity to help them turn their prototype into a product that can be mass-produced. For the future, they’re hoping to find a way to make the space blanket reversible so that it can be switched from the inside to the outside of the tent – making it cooler for the person sleeping inside it in the summer. They’re also hoping they’ll be able to give kits to people to build their own ‘A Portable House’ so that people across Canada can make it themselves and give them to homeless people in their area.

To hear more about this project and to watch our chat with the two students, be sure to watch the video above!

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