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    GEORGIA MODEL WATER TOWER COMPETITION COMES TO FAYETTE

    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 (www.pcwasa.org), using the “Learn More” link below.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    Phone: 770-757-1681
    Email: chris@jwapr.com

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    PCWASA AND FAYETTE WATER SYSTEM HOSTING GA MODEL WATER TOWER COMPETITION

    Oct 13, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) and Fayette Water System are hosting the 2016 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition for Fayette County Schools on Friday, Oct. 21, at J.C. Booth Middle School in Peachtree City. Judging of the student model water towers begins around 9:15 a.m.

    PCWASA and Fayette Water System are supporting this local/regional event to provide an opportunity for Middle School Students from Fayette County Schools to participate in the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, which requires participants to design and build water towers with specific size and height requirements. This is the first year an event affiliated with the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition is being held in Fayette County, featuring students exclusively from Fayette County Schools.

    Judges for the Fayette County Model Water Tower Competition will consist of professionals from the water industry, engineering firms, and other volunteers. PCWASA Division Manager Keisha Lisbon Thorpe is Past Chairman of the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition Committee, while PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan serves as a volunteer advisor for the students.

    The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, which was first held in 2012, is organized by the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) and the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). This event requires that students apply what they’ve learned through STEM Curricula – science, technology, engineering and math – in order to complete this science project.

    The student water tower models are judged based on three criteria, including structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. Judges also will conduct interviews with the students about their entries. The model water towers may be designed and constructed from any materials. However, students are rewarded for using creative designs and innovative resources, such as everyday household items.

    The 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.

    Media Contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    PCWASA ENCOURAGING FUTURE WATER PROFESSIONALS

    Aug 28, 2015 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    PCWASA water professionals will assist with the 2015 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, an event that will be held within four regions around the state this year.

    The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition continues to grow as a water/sewer industry educational event, in part because of the efforts of water professionals from the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA).

    Keisha Lisbon Thorpe, PCWASA Division Manager of Technical Services, chairs the event organizing committee, after having been involved in this public outreach initiative since its inception. Lisbon Thorpe also is Chair of the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA), which is organizing the event in cooperation with the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan volunteers during the Competition as a student advisor.

    Their efforts along with those of fellow water professionals have facilitated expanding interest in Model Water Towers among middle school students and their teachers.

    The 2015 statewide event will feature schools participating at four regional locations. The PCWASA staff will be organizing the competition on Oct. 23rd at Woodland Middle School in Henry County. Other school systems serving as regional sites for this year’s Georgia Model Water Tower Competition include Cobb-Marietta, DeKalb, and Griffin-Spalding County.

    The Model Water Tower Competition is designed to provide information to youth about water resource engineering, infrastructure, water treatment and water conservation, all in hopes that some participating students may become future water professionals. In the meantime, the event reinforces STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education, which is being stressed by the U.S. Department of Education, through state and local educators, for public school curricula.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    DIVISION MANAGER TO LEAD STATE TRADE ASSOCIATION

    Jul 24, 2015 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    Keisha Lisbon Thorpe (front/left), PCWASA Division Manager of Technical Services, has been selected to Chair the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) this year.

    The Division Manager of Technical Services at Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) has been selected by her peers to lead the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA), one of the highest ranking volunteer positions within the state’s water and wastewater industry.

    As Chair of the GAWWA, Keisha Lisbon Thorpe, P.E., will be instrumental in leading this group of professionals dedicated to providing resources for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in Georgia.

    GAWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the entire water community. GAWWA works cooperatively with the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) to achieve these goals and strengthen public confidence in drinking water.

    Lisbon Thorpe has been active in GAWWA for approximately 15 years, in addition to her membership in GAWP. She has chaired the joint GAWWAGAWP state Model Water Tower Competition since its inception three years ago, in addition to past experience chairing the GAWWA Diversity Committee. This year she also was among the GAWP Level 1 Leadership Academy Graduates. Lisbon Thorpe will celebrate her 10th anniversary with PCWASA this October.

    As PCWASA Technical Services Division Manager, Lisbon Thorpe plans, organizes, and directs the technical services and engineering functions of the Authority, including the management and development of annual budgets and the implementation of capital projects, construction services, utility locates, and filming of sewer lines. She also provides oversight of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the fats, oils, and grease (FOG) program, and information technology (IT) at the Authority.

    “Keisha personifies the talent, expertise, and professionalism of our staff at the Authority, and we are lucky to have someone with her credentials and character as a Division Manager,” says Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager. “She is well respected within our industry and a significant asset to our community as well as the state.”

    Prior to joining PCWASA in 2005, Lisbon Thorpe was a Civil Engineer/Supervisor for the City of Atlanta Bureau of Water, following her tenure as a Process Control Engineer for United Water Services of Atlanta.

    As for professional credentials, she is a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the State of Georgia as well as a Class I Water Supply System Operator, which is the highest ranking certification for treatment plant operators in the state. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina A&T and has a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.

    Lisbon Thorpe’s academic research has been published in the Journal of Environmental Engineering, and she has been a keynote speaker on various industry topics for a number of organizations, including the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), and at GAWP District Meetings and Conferences.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    PCWASA AN ORGANIZER OF GA MODEL WATER TOWER COMPETITION

    Nov 16, 2015 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan (left) and Division Manager Keisha Lisbon Thorpe (right) congratulate Jasmin Palacios (center) as the winner of the 2015 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition regional event held at Woodland Middle School.

    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.

    Media Contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu (email)

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    PCWASA HELPS ORGANIZE GEORGIA MODEL WATER TOWER COMPETITION

    Oct 27, 2014 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    Keisha Lisbon-Thorpe (right), PCWASA Division Manager of Technical Services, co-chairs the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition Committee, in addition to serving as a Vice Chair of the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association.

    The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) continued its role as a utility involved in public outreach with its support of the 2014 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition. Authority employees helped organize this statewide engineering challenge for students, held last month at Woodland Middle School in Stockbridge.

    This Competition is hosted by the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) and the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). The annual event challenged local students to design and build a water tower with specific size and height requirements, which were judged by Pam Burnett, Executive Director of GAWP, Kelly Comstock, Chair of GAWWA, and Karl Nelson, Georgia Service Center Manager with Utility Service Group – a water tank professional.

    Keisha Lisbon-Thorpe, PCWASA Division Manager of Technical Services, is Co-Chair of the event, while also serving as Vice Chair of GAWWA. Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager, volunteers each year as an advisor for the student competitors.

    “This competition allows us to introduce local students to the nature of the water and sewer industry, including the importance of treatment processes and the proper design and operation of infrastructure,” says Lisbon-Thorpe. “A properly constructed water tower serves as an ideal project to represent the type of engineering challenge water professionals face every day.”

    The water tower models were judged based on three criteria, including structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. In addition, judges conducted interviews with the students to inquire about the specifics of their model water tower construction projects. Jessica Grimes of Austin Road Middle School was the overall winner of this year’s event, as a result of her submitting an artistic and operational “minion” water tower.

    “This is a great opportunity for the kids, especially the girls, because they usually don’t get exposed to engineering to think of it as a career choice,” says Elizabeth Davenport, sixth grade science teacher and organizer of the Model Water Tower Competition at Woodland Middle School, the host site of the event. Davenport says students learn more about the water industry, too, where jobs are readily available for qualified professionals.

    “This is an awesome program and the kids love it and get excited about it,” she adds. “We have more kids apply for the event than we have spaces available.”

    Davenport points out that the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition addresses all four components of STEM education – science, technology, engineering, and math – curricula being emphasized by public educators on the federal, state, and local levels. Students also don’t have to be enrolled in advanced placement (AP) courses to participate in the event, she adds.

    To enter the statewide competition, students must design and construct model water towers from various household items, but are rewarded for using creative designs and innovative materials.
    The 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.

    Austin Road Middle School faculty member Brigitte Warde sees the potential growth of the event due to its increased popularity among students.

    “We’re hoping to make science cool for students, and this event has the potential to do that while getting even bigger in the future,” she says.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

    Read more