Nov 6, 2017 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

(R to L): Booth Middle School students Joe Metzler and Jack Hemenway are all smiles during the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, admiring their project that won First Place, with the help of teammates Audra O’Clair and Neerali Patel (not pictured).

The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) and the Fayette County Water System provided judges and professional advisors during the Fayette County division of the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition. The Fayette Competition, which was held Oct. 26 at J.C. Booth Middle School, featured nearly 100 eighth grade students competing from Booth and Bennett’s Mill Middle Schools.

After taking the necessary time to review and tally the scores from all of the water tower submittals, judges from the water profession, including those from PCWASA and Fayette Water, have declared the following winners of the 2017 Model Water Tower Competition in Fayette:

• 1st place ($300 prize) – Team “Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies” from Booth Middle School – Jack Hemenway, Joseph Metzler Concepcion, Audra O’Clair, and Neerali Patel.

• 2nd place ($200 prize) – Team “Overconfident” from Booth Middle School – Nicholas Della Torre, Reilly McKenna, Jessica Arinder, and Armaan Jabrani.

• 3rd place ($100 prize) – Team “Beyond Infinity” from Booth Middle School – Rylan Christen, Sean Cooper, Emma McLaughlin, and Carmella Niedzwiecki.

• Best Engineering Design – Team “Little Monsters” from Bennett’s Mill Elementary – Kennedy Phillips and Michelle Ukiwe.

• Most Artistic Design – Team “Overconfident” from Booth Middle School, who also won 2nd place overall.

• Structural Excellence – Team “Ompalompahs” from Booth Middle School – Max Roggermeier, Campbell Cox, Neerja Patel, and Emi Elrod.

• Judge’s Choice Award for Presentation – Team “H2O My Goodness” from Booth Middle School – Isabel Finerty, Jordan Whiteman, Chloe Reaves, and Quinn Fitzhenry.

• Cost Effectiveness Award – Team “Halloween Teens” from Booth Middle School – Rusna Sangha, Ariel Faulise, Lance Muller, and Owen Doyal.

The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition is organized by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) and the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA), with the following mission: “From today’s youth come tomorrow’s leaders, so let’s lead some to the water profession.”

The 2017 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition features seven county/regional events held during the months of October and November, including contests in Carrolton, Cobb County, Griffin, Henry County, Fulton County, and Augusta, in addition to Fayette County.

Bill Holland, PCWASA Chairman of the Board, served as a judge for the Fayette County Competition, while Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager, served as an advisor to the students. Joseph Spann, with Fayette Water System, is this year’s Chairman of the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, following in the footsteps of Keisha Lisbon Thorpe, past chair of the event, who is a former Division Manager at PCWASA.

The teachers of those students taking part in the Fayette County Competition note that this event is ideal for reinforcing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curricula by providing opportunities for experiential learning.

“This is a great experience for my students, and their eyes light up when they see all of the different projects in the competition,” says Susan Hall, Engineering and Technology teacher at Bennett’s Mill Middle School. “They’ll never approach a project the same way again, because they learn how they can do things differently, even better, since they didn’t have a lot of design experience before this. I can tell my kids have already won, just by seeing that look in their eye.”

The quality of the Competition, and the time invested by water professionals to assure its success, did not go unnoticed to those local educators, either.

“It’s really neat how this many water professionals from the industry are willing to work with the kids,” says Jason Bingel, STEM Technology teacher at J.C. Booth Middle School. “Before the competition, we had engineers come speak to my students about the event as well, so we’re learning about this profession and how the industry works.”

Dr. Kathleen Lanham, STEM Coordinator for Booth Middle School, makes it a point to promote the event among her seventh-grade students, since they’ll be participants next year.
“Kids love being able to design and build things,” she says. “This competition allows them to be innovative.”

The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition requires participants to design and build water towers with specific size and height requirements. The student towers are judged based on three criteria – structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. The model water towers must be creatively designed and built using everyday recycled household items.

Photos from this year’s Fayette County Competition are available among the photo galleries on this website (, using the “Learn More” link below.

Media contact:
Chris Wood, Ph.D.
Phone: 770-757-1681