San Diego WateReuse Association Awards Prizes to Area Students

Prizes awarded to students who participated in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair

The San Diego Regional Chapter of the WateReuse Association presented cash prizes to several San Diego area students at their May 21 meeting. The prizes were awarded to students who participated in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, held at Balboa Park in San Diego on April 2. More than 830 projects were entered in the 54th annual science competition.

A panel of judges from the San Diego chapter of the WateReuse Association selected student entries that focused on recycled water and closely related water quality subjects. The local chapter has been awarding prizes to student entries for several years as a way to promote an interest in water recycling among students participating in the county-wide science competition.

The judges awarded a first place prize in the high school student category to Michael Vredenburgh, a 10th grader at Carlsbad High School. His project was titled “Wastewater Treatment: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Real-time Surrogate Measures.”

The second place prize in the high school category was awarded to Rui Jin, an 11th grader at Scripps Ranch High School. His project was titled “Intelligent Irrigation Control.” His project was also one of the top four overall winners in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.

The third place winner in the high school category was Alicia Guerra, a 10th grader at Bonita Vista High School. Her project was titled “The Effect of Fertilizer Runoff on Brine Shrimp Hatching Rates.” Guerra brought her science fair entry display to the meeting and received her prize money and certificate from Chapter President Maria Mariscal. The other high school category winners received their prizes by mail as they were unable to attend the meeting due to school commitments.

The San Diego Regional Chapter gave five awards in the Middle School Category. Students Madison Dutra, Vivek Vishwanath and Nathanial Sena brought their science fair entries for display at the meeting and received their prizes and certificates from the chapter president. The other winners were unable to attend and received their awards by mail. The middle school category winners and their projects were:

• First Place, Middle School: Madison Dutra, 7th grade, The Rhoades School, “Save the Turtles: Investigating Pond Water Quality and Water Sources”;

• Second Place, Middle School: Vivek Vishwanath, 8th grade, Marshall Middle School, “Miracle or Menace? Nutrient Purification Using Plant Potential”;

• Honorable Mention, Middle School: Jennifer Starkey, 7th grade, Hillsdale Middle School, “Cactus Mucilage as a Water Purifier”;

• Honorable Mention, Middle School: Nathaniel Sena, 8th grade, Rincon Middle School, “Multiplying Munchers”; and

• Honorable Mention, Middle School: Ricky Marin III, 8th grade, Wangenheim Middle School, “Does the Amount of TDS and Hardness Change in Reclaimed Water?”

WateReuse Foundation

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