Annie Chen, Luke Joachim and Kyle Stuart-Willis, students at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif., were presented with a special Water Quality Award from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) during a ceremony held Feb. 23 at the 2005 National Engineers Week Future City Competition in Crystal City, Va.
Sponsored in part by National Engineers Week (Feb. 20 to 26), the thirteenth annual competition introduces seventh and eighth grade students to engineering through real-world, practical applications of math and science. Teams of three students, assisted by a teacher and engineer mentor, used the award-winning SimCity 3000 computer software to design a "city of the future" and then used a blueprint to build a model of a city section.
The 2005 competition took place in and around 37 U.S. cities and regions and involved three levels of competition: local, regional and national. First place regional winners traveled to the Washington, DC metropolitan area to participate in the national finals, during which several "special awards" were presented in recognition of achievements in specific areas of engineering design.
WEF’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize Committee, with support from ITT Industries, sponsored a water quality award for best design for improving the quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, water protection or water and wastewater treatment.
"The Water Environment Federation congratulates Annie, Luke, Kyle and all of the participants who have invested their time and effort in the Future City Competition," said WEF Executive Director Bill Bertera. "This competition as well as programs like the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, serve as excellent tools for generating interest among youth to purse careers that will benefit the environment and ensure the preservation of a modern, functional, and healthy society."
"The Future City Competition brings attention and respect to the management and protection of our water quality and resources," continued Al DeCarvalho, WEF Managing Director, External Relations and Public Education. "These students clearly understand that water is the foundation of America’s…and the world’s…public, environmental and economic health."
The students’ were selected for their design of SolAqua, their vision of a "city of the future". SolAqua features a comprehensive and innovative approach to water and wastewater treatment that accommodates a full-range of technologies including condensation ponds, constructed wetlands, and rainwater harvesting for potable water and agriculture. Their design was based upon an ocean environment and addressed problems that arise from a high salt content in water.
"The depth of knowledge that these seventh and eighth students demonstrated was truly impressive," added award judge Karen Pallansch (Alexandria Sanitation Authority, Alexandria, VA). "Their work provides an encouraging indication of what we can expect from future leaders in the water quality and engineering communities."
Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Engineers Week is celebrated annually by thousands of engineers, engineering students, teachers and leaders in government and business. The National Engineers Week consortium includes more than 100 engineering, scientific and education societies, and major corporations dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of technology and the engineering profession. Visit National Engineers Week at www.eweek.org and the Future City Competition at www.futurecity.org.
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize, organized by WEF in the United States, is the most prestigious international youth award for high school water science research. Its purpose is to increase students’ interest in water-related issues and research, and to sensitize them — as future leaders — to global water challenges. For more information visit www.stockholmjuniorwaterprize.org.
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with members from varied disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of the global water environment. The WEF network includes water quality professionals from 76 Member Associations in 30 countries. www.wef.org