Nov 16, 2015 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.
What better resource to help students with a science project to build a model water tower than the water professionals with experience constructing and operating these structures in real life?
Volunteers from the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) helped organize and execute the fourth annual Georgia Model Water Tower Competition this year, overseeing the regional competition held at Woodland Middle School on Oct. 23. In doing so, the water professionals from PCWASA had an opportunity to encourage participating middle school students that the water industry could provide them with rewarding careers in the future.
The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition requires middle school students to design and build a water tower with specific size and height requirements, while learning more about the value of water and the industry. Students could enter as individuals, in tandem or within a four-person team.
The overall winner of the 2015 competition from the south metro region was Woodland Middle School’s Jasmin Palacios, followed in second place by Austin Road’s Jessica Grimes, who was last year’s winner, with third place going to the Woodland Middle School tandem of Jessie Elliott and Erin Maiolo.
Additional awards went to Ryan Grimes from Austin Road for Artistic Design, Nikki Davis and Jhendiya Hall from Austin Road for Engineering Excellence, and Jessie Elliott and Erin Maiolo from Woodland Middle School for Structural Efficiency.
The student model water towers are judged based on three criteria – structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. In addition, judges conduct interviews with the students to assess their understanding of the engineering and construction process of building a model water tower. The model water towers may be designed and constructed from any materials. However, students are rewarded for using creative designs and innovative materials, such as everyday household items.
The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, which was first held in 2012, is hosted by the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) and the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP).
The learning objective of the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition is to make participants more aware of the importance of reliable drinking water, while introducing them to rewarding (career) opportunities available in the water profession. To do so, the competition requires students to develop an idea into a functioning water tower, just as water professionals do within the industry.
The additional benefit of the competition is it engages students in hands-on learning of STEM curricula – science, technology, engineering, and math – which are emphasized by Georgia educators and school administrations.
Check out the “Learn More” link below for photos from the 2015 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.