Jul 07, 2008

California Student to Represent U.S. in Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition

Joyce Chai received $3,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Stockholm for the international competition

Joyce Chai of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., was named the U.S. winner of the 2008 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP)—the most prestigious international competition for water-related research—during a ceremony this weekend at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Fla.

The student’s work, “Modeling the Toxic Effects of Silver Nanoparticles under Varying Environmental Conditions,” demonstrated a novel technique to quantifying the potential toxicity of silver nanoparticles to the world's water sources and the environment as well as repudiated the assertion that consumer products that contain nanosilver are more reliable and less environmentally hazardous. Chai’s project was selected from more than 40 state SJWP winners at the national competition held in Orlando, June 19 to 21.

The student from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., received $3,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, where she will compete against national winners from more than 30 countries for the international honor during World Water Week, Aug. 17 to 23, 2008. HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will present the international award—$5,000 and a crystal sculpture—during a royal ceremony held in conjunction with the Stockholm Water Symposium.

In addition, Chai’s school will receive a $1,000 grant toward enhancing water science education and she will present her research to more than 18,000 water quality professionals at WEFTEC.08, the Water Environment Federation's 81st annual technical exhibition and conference, this October in Chicago.

Three U.S. finalists, Timothy Chang from Rego Park, N.Y., Ashutosh Patra from Portland, Ore., and Eugene Rodrick from Gainesville, Fla., also received a $1,000 award.

The Water Environment Federation sponsors the U.S. SJWP with support from ITT Corp. (also the international sponsor), The Coca-Cola Co., and Delta Air Lines. The Florida Water Environment Association served as the 2008 host of the national competition and Chai received sponsorship from the California Water Environment Association.