Students Design Efficient Water Pumps for Let’s Solve Water Challenge

February 11, 2013

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More than100 high school students from the Rochester, N.Y.-area participated in the inaugural Let’s Solve Water Challenge sponsored by Xylem (White Plains, N.Y.). Photo courtesy of Xylem.

More than100 high school students from the Rochester, N.Y.-area participated in the inaugural Let’s Solve Water Challenge sponsored by Xylem (White Plains, N.Y.). Photo courtesy of Xylem.

More than 100 high school students gathered to decide how to build the most efficient water pump during the inaugural Let’s Solve Water Challenge.

Student members of Rochester (N.Y.) Community Robotics teams from eight local high schools participated in this 2-week competition sponsored by Xylem (White Plains, N.Y.). Xylem engineers kicked off the competition by introducing students to the challenge of designing and building a water pump, according to a Xylem news release. The students had a $50 budget and could not use any commercially assembled parts, except for a motor and a battery case, which were both provided to them for the challenge.

The competition consisted of four categories. First-place teams in each category received $1000, the news release says. The winners were

  • The IgKNIGHTers, hosted by McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.), who won in the fastest fill for a 4-L (1 gal) container at 152 mm (6 in.) of head category;
  • DevilTech, hosted by Victor (N.Y.) Central Schools, who won in the lowest average amps per gallon of water category;
  • Tan[X], hosted by Canandaigua (N.Y.) Academy, who won in the highest pressure generated category; and
  • SparX, hosted by Webster (N.Y.) Central School, who won in the most elegant design/presentation category.

    Students were challenged to build a low cost/low energy water pump with a battery case provided to them and on a total budget not exceed $50. Four winning teams were awarded $1,000. Photo courtesy of Xylem.

    Students were challenged to build a low cost/low energy water pump with a battery case provided to them and on a total budget not exceed $50. Four winning teams were awarded $1,000. Photo courtesy of Xylem.

The competition is designed to engage students, get them excited about water issues, and provides them with real-world engineering skills, such as working around design constraints and making trade-offs between energy efficiency and water pressure and flow, the news release says. Xylem plans to host the competition again later this year, the news release says.

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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