Provided by Prince William County Service Authority (PWCSA)
The Prince William County Service Authority’s Model Water Tower Competition took on a creative and festive feel this year, thanks to the holiday-themed winning entry.
St. Francis student Jerry Boasmanboon and his neighbor Renu Nguyen-Rawoor of Graham Park Middle School created a working water tower that combined elements of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Boasmanboon and Nguyen-Rawoor, who called their team the Water Tank Warriors, painted a cheese ball can orange for Halloween and decorated the top with a turkey face and feathers to represent Thanksgiving. They wrapped battery-powered lights around the tower’s legs and glued peppermints on the structure to give it a Christmas feel.
That creativity was on display in all 10 entries of the competition, which was sponsored by the Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association (VA AWWA) and Micron Technology. Entries were rated on structural, hydraulic and cost efficiency as well as design ingenuity.
“The kids not only utilized different materials and structural concepts, but made it uniquely theirs by decorating their water towers to match their creative sides,” said competition judge Andrew Cockram, a GIS Technician at the Service Authority.
Second place went to Maddi Waltsak of Antietam Elementary School, and third went to the team of Kylie Hayes, Erin Fortson, Laurie Kouevi, Stella Kouevi and Alyssa Cassel of Woodbridge Middle School. The competition was opened this year to fifth graders who are enrolled in Prince William County’s SIGNET (Students Involved in Gifted Needs in Education Today) program.
Judge Glenn Pearson said he was just as impressed at the level of enthusiasm and curiosity shown by the parents during the event. The Work for Water Committee, which is comprised of members of VA AWWA and the Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA), hosted an informational booth on careers in the industry as the students were being judged. Families also watched a short video about the value that comes from working in the water and wastewater industry before the awards ceremony.
“At the hydraulics station, I was asked many questions (from kids and adults) about how our water distribution system operates, how the tanks work, why are tanks look different from site to site, how much water our tanks hold and so on,” said Pearson, the Service Authority’s Deputy Director of Operations & Maintenance. “The level of curiosity was much higher than I initially expected.”