Two students from Bellevue’s Open Window School won the first-place prize for Grades 4-6 of the Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Competition, the world’s largest K-12 science competition. The team — comprised of Jacob Park and Julia Stewart — impressed the judges with their Coagulation Filtration System, a solar-powered water filtration approach that seeks to provide safe drinking water for communities worldwide who are currently without access to it.
For their project, Park and Stewart designed a way to remove ecosystem-damaging microplastics from water with the help of Ideonella sakaiensis — which are microbes that are able to break down and metabolize plastic. Using this process, the students offer a way to ensure quick access to safe, efficient, and sustainable drinking water for people anywhere.
The first-place means they have will be awarded a $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond for their Coagulation Filtration System. In addition, the team will be honored alongside other winners in a virtual ceremony Friday, June 4. Speakers for the event include scientist Bill Nye.
This marks the 29th consecutive year of The Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Competition. Born from a desire to “help children to expand their imagination and have fun while developing an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at an early age,” the program has helped engage more than 450,000 students from across the United States and Canada in science and technology.
For more information about the competition, click here.