The challenge: Water is one of the most basic necessities for human life. Lack of access to clean water causes life-threatening problems. Around the world, communities struggle to get this access. Identify one of the world’s critical clean water access problems and design a clean energy technology solution.
Two separate competitions were held in Singapore and the Bay Area of California.
Singapore 1st Place Project Summary
School: Hwa Chong Institution
Shortage of clean water is due mainly to population growth and dwindling of resources as well as the problem of water pollution. Shells of mollusks, a type of seafood commonly consumed, contain calcium carbonate which can be used to purify wastewater, removing toxic metal ions from it, thus serving as a cheap and environmentally friendly way to purify water. An eco-friendly prototype which can effectively remove pollutants from unpurified drinking water was created using lala clam and blood cockle shells.
Bay Area 1st Place Project Summary
School: Monta Vista High School
Even areas with humid and wet climates suffer from lack of potable water. They developed a device called the “Struo,” which mimics the unique water coalescing system of the Namib Desert Beetle. The Struo can supply potable water for a family of four every day. The Struo works by entrenching hydrophilic valleys in between hydrophobic mountains. This device is useful in various types of weather, as the conical coalescer can be inverted to become a rainwater collector.