PNCWA Sponsored Students to Compete at the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize Contest

Alex Howard (Timberline High School, Boise ID), Cheney Sung (Oregon Episcopal School, Portland OR) and Sagarika Samavedi (Interlake High School, Bellevue WA have been selected as 2018 state winners of the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the nation’s most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project.


Alex's project project is Investigating the Water Filtration Capabilities of Carbon-Coated Oyster Shells)” and his teacher is Annie Schmidt.

Alex started developing his project in 2015 and 2016, and his project won the Community Impact Award (North America) in the 2016 Google Science Fair ( . In 2014, when Alex was 15, he had been disappointed to see how difficult it was for the average inner city family to access lead-free drinking water during Flint, Michigan's water crisis in 2014. Eager to create an affordable lead filter option for people to use, he began researching the issue and found that water served to over 6M people across the US contains lead levels that can cause serious illnesses in children and adults. His initial experiments showed that you can avoid using traditional filters that require a dangerous and environmentally unsafe acid bath, and instead use simple products like sugar, water, a heating mechanism -- and, surprisingly, seashells. He has developed the the project further through 2017 and 2018 and he earned the State Stockholm Junior Water Prize at the Western Idaho Science and Engineering competition recently.  Additionally the Idaho Stem Action Center supported him and another Idaho student to attend the just completed Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, where he also earned 4th place category award at that very prestigious international competition.


Sagarika's project (left)  is Analyzing the Effects of Anthropogenic Pollution on the Net Primary Productivity of Oceanic Phytoplankton using Satellite Data and In Vitro Experimentation and her teacher is Philip Allender. Cheney's project is Effects of Polyester and Cotton Microfibers on the Growth and Luminous Intensity of Pyrocystis sp. and his teacher is Peter Langley.

Alex, Cheney, and Sagarika, are three of the 57 state winners announced by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), will represent their statesin the national finals June 16 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where students from 47 states and Puerto Rico will be competing. The winner will receive $10,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Stockholm to represent the United States at the international competition during World Water Week on August 26-31.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize aims to increase students’ interest in water issues, research, and careers, as well as to raise awareness about global water challenges. The competition is open to projects focused on improving water quality, water resource management, water protection, and drinking water and wastewater treatment.

“These are some of our country’s most intelligent students, and the innovation and creativity reflected in their projects is truly amazing,” said Eileen O’Neill, WEF Executive Director. “If the work of these young scientists is any indication, the future of water science and research is indeed bright.”

In the U.S., WEF and its Member Associations organize the regional, state, and national competitions with support from Xylem Inc., who also sponsors the international competition. The Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Scholarship Award, a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Xylem Inc., will be also awarded to the state winner who demonstrates a passion for education, spirit of creativity, and innovation.   In addition, one project will be chosen for WEF’s James L. Condon Recognition for Environmental Stewardship

For more information on the Stockholm Junior Water Prize:

Share this post:

Comments on "PNCWA Sponsored Students to Compete at the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize Contest"

Comments 0-0 of 0

Please login to comment