What an incredible year, wow! We reached the most nations in our history and that was reflected by an exceptionally diverse list of both Semi and Finalists. 2021 was the 10th year of the Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition (a whole decade, woah!) and we could not be prouder of all of participating Teams. This year was defined by not only a global pandemic, but also by much more visible effects of climate change across the globe. We are beyond hopeful after seeing the outpouring of support from the more than three dozen entering nations. Inspiration is all around us, and we cannot wait to see what is in store for next year!
Please join us in congratulating this years top Teams! We are continually blown away by the submitted projects, and these top Teams put forth the highest levels of both ingenuity and quality of work. Congratulations on your immense achievement!
Teams entering in this category focused on finding solutions that could be made with parts that were more common and widely available. This however, does not mean that they were simple in their design or lesser in the impact. The innovation entered into this category provided impactful answers for everyone, not just those with an excess of resources to do so. Available on Youtube are video summaries from all of our Finalists, check them out!
1st Place – Jacqueline Prawira – Mountain House High School, California, USA
Project Title: A Dual Focus Development as Alternative Materials to Plastic by Upcycling Fish Scale Waste Components
Plastic dependence is a well known and major portion of the fossil fuel industry. Using biomimicry of the fish scale composition, our 1st place finisher in the Low Cost category created a materials development addressing plastic’s lack of degradability and waste accumulation. The resulting product is one that exceeds flexural strength and degradation rates of traditional Polylactic Acid products. This cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative serves as a preventative practical disposal solution through home composting to promote a circular economy. Check out their video summary on YouTube!
2nd Place – Harrison Weinberg – Great Neck South High School, New York, USA
Project Title: Engineering of a Cheap Buoy Used for the Detection of Oil in the Marine Environment
Inspired by a chance encounter with a patch of oily water, our 2nd place finisher new they had to find a cost effective solution to identifying other such patches. Working on the principle that water transmits UV light but oil reflects it, they designed a UV light intensity sensor using Arduino. This ensured the cost remained low while also requiring little advanced knowledge to create. Constructing an cost effective buoy to place the sensor on, the results have shown promise to provide a low cost ability to identify patches of oil and gas on the surface of water bodies. Watch their video summary on YouTube!
3rd Place – Rachel Mathilda – SMAN 1 Cileungsi, West Java, Indonesia.
Project Title: Designing Piezo Power (Piezoelectric as Energy Harvester of Vehicle in TheStreet) for Street Lamp
In the world around us there are numerous untapped sources of energy, with mechanical stress being one of the most prevalent in a modern society. Utilizing piezoelectricity, the researcher created a three-part component that generates an alternating current when subject to this mechanical stress. Designed to be placed into a speed bump or on a pedestrian walkway, the power created would be stored in lithium batteries to be used when necessary. With mechanical stress being everywhere, this non-carbon emission innovation is applicable across the world at a low rate. See their video summary on YouTube!
Projects entered into our High Tech category are looking to push the envelope of what is possible with our current capabilities. Teams working on this type of research are utilizing the most advanced technology we have available, or creating entirely new processes to expand our current abilities. Check out the Finalists summaries on Youtube!
1st Place – Kiefer Ong, Pierre Yeap and See Jay Ng – Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore
Project Title: Synthesis of an Eco-friendly and Reusable Magnetic Ferrofluid using Orange Peel Extract for Oil Spill Cleanup
Inspired by the BP oil spill in 2010, the first place Team for the High Tech category looked to find a solution that would be able to easily clean up these disasters but without the negative characteristics of todays methods. Their solution uses orange peel (OP) extract as the surfactant, providing a cheap alternative to the traditionally used oleic acid. Their OP-ferrofluid was found to remove up to 60 g/g of oil, exceeding commercial sorbents. They simultaneously developed a robotic prototype, allowing rapidly retrieval due to the ferrofluids magnetic properties. Watch their video summary on YouTube!
2nd Place – Hiya Shah – Amador Valley High School, California, USA
Project Title: Maji: A Computer-Integrated System for Water Quality Calculation and Low-Energy Filtration of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Water Contaminants
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) water contaminants with deleterious health effects are widespread in surface and groundwater sources. However, current treatments of this contaminant are not environmentally-sustainable. The researcher developed a biological cell inspired PFAS filter that reduces energy requirements and increases water permeability compared to traditional techniques, integrating it with a mobile app and sensors. This conveys real-time quality of household water that will be expanded to an internet water distribution system for use by water districts. Check out her video summary on YouTube!
3rd Place – Caitlin Noonan – Kellenberg Memorial High School, New York, USA
Project Title: Swimming Robot to Monitor, Forecast, and Protect Long Island from Harmful Algal Blooms
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) pose significant threats to human health and are both relevant and prevalent to the researcher’s home of Long Island, New York. Current forecasts for these aquatic disturbances are limited and not readily accessible as they require complex tables and satellite images. Our third place finisher designed a Raspberry Pi-based, 3D-printed using sustainable materials, solar-powered swimming robot called SR 4 LI. This innovation reduces labor, cost and time to collect water quality data, an is equipped to identify species of algae, creating a highly efficient method of public understanding of HAB related water quality. Watch her video summary on YouTube!
Congratulations to all of our Finalists and everyone who entered this years Competition. See you next year!