International water research call for local teens

Westernport Water is seeking teens with a passion for water – it could see them going to Stockholm next year.

A teacher from their school will also attend the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.
The trips are among the prizes being offered for a water research project undertaken by students aged 14 to 19.
The Australian winner of the international competition will attend a royal banquet at the Stockholm City Hall, in the presence of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf and HM Queen Silvia, with the overall winner receiving US$5000 and a blue crystal sculpture.
Additionally, three Australian finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Ozwater conference in Brisbane in March 2010.
Organised by the Australian Water Association, the Australian division of the prize is now seeking entries. Entries close 10 December, 2009.
Previous Australian winners have investigated water filtration using sea shells, improving water quality with plants, the impact on frog populations of habitat restoration and using microalgae to sequester carbon dioxide for bio-fuel.
Westernport Water Managing Director Murray Jackson said: “We note there have been no Victorian winners since 2000 and we feel it’s time to redress that. We’d be delighted to see a finalist come from our region and we’d be happy to help any local students wanting to initiate a project.
“The organisers suggest entrants choose a topic which is nationally relevant and topical.”
The competition is open to projects aimed at improving the quality of life through better water quality, water resources management, water protection or water and wastewater treatment.
Previous international entries have examined using the sun to disinfect water, inventing a fireside distillation unit for poor Third World countries, and even using fruit peelings to remove heavy metals from water.
“The scope is exciting and the results possibly life-saving,” Mr Jackson said.
“The prize aims to increase students’ interest in water-related issues and research, and to raise their awareness and knowledge of global water challenges.”
All projects must use scientifically accepted methodologies for experimentation, monitoring and reporting the results, including statistical analyses.
The three Australian finalists will attend AWA’s Ozwater conference to present their project to a panel of judges and attend the national awards ceremony.
The national winner receives an expense paid trip to Stockholm during August 2010 to compete for the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize and participate in a week-long cultural exchange program.
The winning school receives a free flight for the teacher to attend the prize ceremony in Stockholm.
The national winner receives a trophy for themselves and their school.
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