Service Authority Recognizes Local Student Scientists

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Provided by Prince William County Service Authority

The Prince William County Service Authority recently presented awards to 10 middle and high school students from Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park who submitted exceptional water-and wastewater-related entries to the 2023 Prince William-Manassas Regional Science & Engineering Fair.

Each year, the Service Authority partners with Prince William County Schools to review water- and wastewater-related submissions in the Science & Engineering Fair and recommend outstanding projects for Service Authority Organizational Awards. This year’s student winners were recognized during the May 11 Service Authority Board of Directors meeting and received certificates of commendation and cash prizes.

Ava Mallaney, a student at Benton Middle School, took home First Place in the Middle Division for the project “The Effect of Water Source on Lentil Growth.” Ava’s research tested the effects that three different water sources (creek, distilled and bottled) had on the height of lentil seedlings.

In the Senior Division, Ibtihaz Sparsha, Braxton McDaniel and Yassine Lahbabi of The Governor’s School at Innovation Park were this year’s First Place winners. The trio’s project, “Mosses’ Capability of Filtering Heavy Metals from Water,” examined the ability of cultivated moss to absorb common metal pollutants like zinc, copper and nickel from water.

“These young scientists are simply amazing,” said Michelle Bouchard, the Service Authority’s Community Outreach Supervisor. “We appreciate the time, skill and effort that goes into every project and want to continue to encourage every student to pursue their interest in water quality treatment as well as the environment.”

Full List of Winners:

Middle Division


General Manager’s Awards: Adaeze Acholonu, Pennington Traditional School

  • First Place: Ava Mallaney, Benton Middle School, Project: “The Effect of Water Source on Lentil Growth”
  • Second Place: Nolan Campbell, Bull Run Middle School, Project: “What is the Effect of Filtration Material on Pond Water?”
  • Third Place: Deen Lateef, Benton Middle School, Project: “The Perils of Plastic”
  • General Manager’s Awards: Adaeze Acholonu, Pennington Traditional School, Project: “Water Filtration Mechanisms”

Senior Division

  • First Place Ibtihaz Sparsha, Braxton McDaniel, Yassine Lahbabi, The Governor’s School at Innovation Park, Project: “Mosses’ Capability of Filtering Heavy Metals from Water”
  • Second Place Sidak Singh, Battlefield High School, Project: “An Overlooked Aspect of Wastewater Treatment: Analyzing the Capacity of Various Sanitary Wipes to Dissolve in Distilled Water”
  • Third Place Eleanore Rhodes, Mikayla Carter, The Governor’s School at Innovation Park, Project: “The Effects of Industrialization on Environmental Factors in Prince William County, VA”

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