Liquid News

IRWD Honors IUSD Science Fair Winners

Creativity and Completeness of Research are Rewarded

Four Irvine students were honored at the May 23 Irvine Ranch Water District board meeting for their innovative water-related science fair projects. The students’ projects were judged by members of the IRWD Water Quality staff during the March 2 science fair.

 

“These projects are very impressive,” said General Manager Paul Jones before the students were introduced. “Congratulations to each of you for a job well done.”

 

IRWD has participated in the Irvine Unified School District’s annual science fair for many years. In the fall, IRWD water quality and engineering staff members are on-hand to assist students with their project ideas at Ask-a-Scientist Night. The day of the science fair, IRWD staff seek out the water-related projects from the hundreds of projects submitted and select the winning projects based on the use of the scientific method, creativity, relevance, completeness of research and evidence of problem solving.

 

Each student received a certificate from the IRWD Board of Directors. In addition, IRWD donates $100 in honor of each student to their schools for the purchase of science equipment or books and $100 to support the science fair.

 

Winners this year included:

 

Jessica Wu-Woods, 10th grade, Woodbridge High School, “The Comparison of Three Different Methods: PCR, Antibody Strips and Metabolite Strips, to Detect E. Coli in Water.” Jessica’s project evaluated three different methods to test for E.coli in water. Current established methods to detect these bacteria can take 18-48 hours, so a reliable, rapid test is needed. Based on the results of her tests, the metabolite strips were inexpensive, easy to use and could fulfill the need for a new way to test for contaminated water. Jessica received an Outstanding Project Award at the IUSD Science Fair; a Special Award, Senior Division, from the National Water Research Institute; a Second Place award at the County Science and Engineering Fair and a Participant at the California State Science Fair.

 

Andrew Ko, 8th grade, Vista Verde School, “Potable H2O Growth of Bacteria.” Andrew wanted to discover if water purification tablets are effective in lessening bacterial growth in various types of water. Using one liter of water each from the tap, a water fountain, a pond, from rain and from the toilet, he hypothesized that pond water would become the most purified after adding water purification tablets, because pond water is very dirty. He was correct, and also learned that rain water isn’t so clean, either.

 

Divya Sripathy, 8th grade, Lakeside Middle School, “Conserve Water Easily.” Divya set out to learn if using a certain type of drought-tolerant grass can help in water conservation. She used dichondra, which is not drought-tolerant, Marathon II, St. Augustine and Zoysia Tenifolia in her experiment. After watering each grass with one liter of water daily, she found that the drought-tolerant grasses did conserve about four to six liters, compared to dichondra. Zoysia Tenifolia turned out to be the most water-conserving.

 

Gaby Katz, 6th grade, Vista Verde School, “The Dynamics of Water Flow.” Gaby wanted to examine if different lengths of hoses would influence the speed with which a bucket of set volume was filled with water. He hypothesized that water flowing through a longer length of hose would take longer to fill a bucket than would a shorter hose. He used four different lengths of hose and a stop watch. After conducting five time trials, he discovered his hypothesis was correct. The results are explained by the principle of water flow, which states that velocity of water flow is dependent on the hydrostatic pressure, the diameter and the length of the hose.

 

For more information about IRWD education programs, please visit our website.


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