How would you spend $1 million to prevent the deaths of children under the age of five? The right answer to that question could be worth $1 million.

Worldwide, 19,000 children under age 5 die every day, according to the folks at the Caplow Children’s Prize. To save their lives, Ted Caplow, a social entrepreneur and philanthropist, has offered a million dollars. The money will fund the best plan with the best chance of doing the most good.

The contest is all online, open to anyone anywhere. It is an interesting experiment in philanthropy, open ended and open to everyone, with one supremely important goal: saving children’s lives. Saving lives is what engineers do, and we think the E4C community is fit to compete.

“Members of the E4C community are suited to enter this contest because E4C combines two powerful elements, engineering and humanitarianism,” Aleyda Mejia, who directs the contest, told E4C.

“With an academic background in engineering, it’s natural for me recognize the potential value and impact that an engineer may have in child mortality. Engineers are trained to solve problems, to find practical solutions that simultaneously account for the constraints involved in given environments or situations. Engineers also have a great breadth of reach in areas that may be beneficial to saving children’s lives around the world. Engineers work in areas that include sanitation, water, health, agriculture and infrastructure. All of these are areas that impact child health in some form or another,” Mejia says.

Since January when the prize opened, proposals have streamed in worldwide. The ideas have included bed nets to reduce malaria, water tanks and treatment systems to reduce waterborne disease, and many others.

The Caplow Children’s Prize is a shot at spending $1 million in the best way possible. We think people in our community are up to the challenge.

The deadline is May 1st. Learn more and submit your proposal online at

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