A group of Sky View Middle School students with a thirst for knowledge took on a contest to solve a real-world community problem.
“The idea of filtering water and saving it and just like not wasting it, I guess, because it just goes down the drain on regular sinks and then it’s just gone,” said 7th grader Ethan Bazzell.
Garrett Davis, Riley Condon, Liam McLaughlin, Joaquin Lomeli and Bazzell recognized that water is a precious commodity in the desert. They built a filter for recycling water.
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“Currently going through this back here, up in here, and it’s going to draining down here,” Lomeli said, describing their invention. “It goes through the filter, which is right there, goes down to the pump, and then just circulates over and over.”
Students developed the idea, researched materials and built a prototype of mostly recycled materials.
“We cut like little holes into the bottom of the sink to put the legs up into it and then screwed them on.” Condon said. “We used the saws to cut most of the wood, and then we painted the wood with some brown paint to make it look nicer and match.”
Of course, only some things went into the plan, and the group had to come together to work through some hiccups.
“Was it leaking or just completely falling apart? Another problem was the filter itself,” said McLaughlin. “The filter was either really good, but really slow or really fast and wasn’t that good.”
With a few more tweaks, it was money that was flowing in. They won $2500 in technology curriculum for Sky View in December.
Their design and activity plan took the top state honor, even beating high school teams. The payout is an additional $12,000 in supplies and equipment for the school.
“This project exemplifies what we’re trying to work on at Sky View overall in terms of using all of the different levels of instruction, in terms of communication, collaboration, math, science, social studies and language arts to wrap their brains around a problem in our society,” said Principal Julie Stroinksi.
If they win in the next state competition, they win $50,000 for the school. They will need to pitch their project in person to judges in May.