Meet the Winners: Imagining Tomorrow H2O Challenge

March 22, 2016


In honor of World Water Day, we congratulate the winners of our  Imagining Tomorrow: H20 challenge, an initiative of the Global STEM Alliance and partners Sisters Cities International and Sqore. The winning teams took on water issues affecting their local communities and set out to find viable scientific solutions.


Team "H2O YEAH!," comprised of Adaline Kerr of Whetstone High School and Kurtis Chenoweth of Columbus Alternative High School from Columbus, Ohio, was chosen for their gray water system solution. They worked with mentor Jessica Black, Construction Manager at O'Brien & Gere.

The team hypothesized that if the population of their hometown, Franklin County, doubled in 25 years and if no change was made to the current water system, domestic water use would double—causing a water crisis. Aiming to meet this potential for increased demand, the team proposed a widespread household and commercial gray water system.

“It has always bothered us that perfectly drinkable water is literally flushed down the toilet multiple times per day. We began to calculate how much water could be saved by using untreated water in place of it--a lot. A lot, as in, no more impending water crisis in Franklin County.”


Team "Dayzins," comprised of Zaid Adam Hadir Idriss and Yiwere Aminu from Lebanon Islamic Secondary School in Accra, Ghana, were chosen for their rainwater harvesting solution. They worked with mentor Rhoda Toback, Master Watershed Steward and  XM Candidate in Natural Resources at Virginia Tech Center for Leadership and Global Sustainability, but received assistance from their school counselor, Ms. Asmau Ayub.

In the next 25 years, they hypothesized that the water consumption in Abeka, their hometown, will double, and that the increase in demand can be met by households collecting and storing enough rain water. Their solution proposes collecting rainwater in gutters or downspouts, which redirect the water through pipes to storage tanks.

“Instead of using the old thinking—like piping—we could use Mother Nature to get access to water. Mother nature purifies the water for free and dumps it right where people live.”