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 12 middle and high school students from Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park who submitted exceptional water- and wastewater-related entries to the 2022 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 received cash prizes and were recognized during the May 12 Service Authority Board of Directors meeting.

Ella Morris, a seventh grader from Gainesville Middle School, took home First Place in the Middle Division for the project “The Effect of Graywater on Plant Growth.” Ella’s research investigated whether the used water from washing machines, kitchen sinks and bathtubs, known as graywater, enabled plants to grow taller than tap water.

Desmen Boykin of The Governor’s School at Innovation Park was victorious in the Senior Division for the project “The Effect of Casein Polymers on the Filtration of Heavy Metals and Contaminants in Well Water.” Boykin, who has a long-standing interest in water quality, investigated whether the addition of casein powder enhanced the performance of a charcoal filtration system in removing E. coli bacteria and other contaminants from a sample of water. Casein contains unique structures that may help remove contaminants from water.

“I was amazed at these young scientists,” said Michelle Bouchard, the Service Authority’s Education & Outreach Coordinator. “The Service Authority appreciates the time, skill and effort that goes into each one of these projects and wants to continue encouraging students to pursue their interest in water quality, treatment and the environment.”

Complete List of Winners:

Middle Division

  • First Place Ella Morris, Gainesville Middle School | Project: “The Effect of Graywater on Plant Growth”
  • Second Place Vedkris Burra, Graham Park Middle School | Project: “The Effect of Solar Power on Water Desalination”
  • Third Place Isabelle Gerona, St. Francis of Assisi School | Project: “The Effect of Water Stagnation on Bacterial Growth”
  • General Manager’s Awards Eleanor Bowling, Graham Park Middle School and Jasmine Dela Vega, St. Francis of Assisi School

Senior Division

  • First Place Desmen Boykin, The Governor’s School at Innovation Park | Project: “The Effect of Casein Polymers on the Filtration of Heavy Metals and Contaminants in Well Water”
  • Second Place Mehreen Rahman and Kevin Sae-Tung, The Governor’s School at Innovation Park | Project: “The Effect of Copper Sulfate on the Ability of Ulva lactuca to Prevent Critical Levels of Nutrients in Water”
  • Third Place Alexis Andrews-Thompson, Kiara Turner and Alexandra Roberson, Colgan High School | Project: “Water Filtration: The Key to Healthier Living”
  • General Manager’s Awards – Clare Flynn, Seton School

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