MWRD Board of Commissioners honors Award-Winning Student Scientists

youngscienceThe 62nd Chicago student science fair season has come to a close, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners recently rewarded winning students with certificates and a Chicago River boat tour.
The award-winning student scientists  presented their project summaries and results to the MWRD Board of Commissioners in MWRD’s downtown Chicago board room. Many of the projects reflected several months of data collection and analysis on topics such as toilet paper durability in various water environments, mineral content in bottled water and the effect of acid on bacteria.
The road to the MWRD board room started earlier in the school year. Seventh through 12th grade private and public schools students had to win the top prize at their respective schools’ science fairs then win during the regional science fair held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in March.
Following the presentations, students and their families toured the Chicago River and Lake Michigan by boat.
“All of the students are to be commended for their hard work,” said Commissioner Kathleen Therese Meany, chairman of the MWRD’s Public Information and Education committee.  “It takes ingenuity to develop the concept, and it takes commitment and perseverance to follow through. I also applaud the parents and teachers for providing children with the guidance they need on these scientific endeavors.”
In the photo: MWRD Commissioner Kathleen Therese Meany presented an award to 7th grader Des­mond O’Keefe, from Christ the King School. Desmond’s project was titled “Which Bottled Waters Have the Most Mineral Content?”
List of award winners, schools and project title:
Grade 7
Patrick Burzec, St. Constance School, “Flood or No Flood”
Jennifer Buske, St. Robert Bellarmine School, “Do Different Types of Water Affect Plant Growth?”
Peter Cwik, St. Daniel the Prophet School, “Get the Lead Out!”
Julia Klages, St. Paul of the Cross School, “Spilling is Killing”
Christina Lopez, Science Academy of Chicago, “How to Disinfect Contaminated Water”
Gordon Maxwell, Beaubien School, “How Safe Is Chicagoland’s Drinking Water?”
Afreen Mohiuddin, College Preparatory School of America, “Sunlit Purification”
Desmond O’Keefe, Christ the King School, “Which Bottled Waters Have the Most Mineral Content?”
Maeve Roach, St. Bernadine School, “What’s in Your Bottle?”
Victor Rodriguez, Clark School, “Dark Soil Contaminated”
Kyra Sedovi, Queen of Angels School, “Grey Water: Can Plants Tolerate It?”
Ayesha Shafeeq, College Preparatory School of America, “The Effect of Pollution on the Buoyancy of Water Birds”
Jazmin Villanueva, St. Ferdinand School, “How Different Soils Affect the pH of Water”
Kim Vivekae, Edgebrook School, “A Comparison of Water Technologies”
Michael Wlazlo, Twain School, “Is Organic Fertilizer Better Than Synthetic?”
Grade 8
Jocelyn Bravo, Burroughs School, “Are Green Detergents Less Toxic?”
Casey Collins, St. Gabriel School, “Water Purification”
Jose Del Real, Charles J. Sahs School, “Oil Spills”
Mary Clare Enright, St. Walter School, “This Isn’t the Rain You Find in Spain”
Mathew Graziano, Sayre School, “Is Our Drinking Water Safe?”
Gabriela Gryc, St. Maria Goretti School, “H20 Pollution Revolution”
Kelly Sullivan, St. Gabriel School, “Water Purification”
Benjamin Weiss, Francis W. Parker School, “Directional Selection of Oxygen Production Capacity”
Katrina Wheelan, Alcott School, “Solar Car Efficiency as Affected by Gear Size”
Joseph Witek, Charles J. Sahs School, “Toilet Paper: Which Dissolves Fastest?”
Lucy Wolf, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, “Water and Light”
Grade 9
Sebastian Augusthy, Kenwood Academy High School, Effect of Hydrocitric Acid on Bacteria”
Yadid Gutierrez, Curie High School, “Dandelion Roots vs. Bacteria”
Tyler Portis, Brooks High School, “Hiding in Plain Sight”
Fatima Qarmi, College Preparatory School of America, “Disinfecting Contaminated WaterWater”
Victoria Schwieger and Naomi Sopt, Taft High School, “pH’n Your Distillation”
Daniel Ziarko, Whitney Young High School, “Different Fertilizing Methods for Plants”
Grade 10
Priscilla Agbeo, University of Chicago-Woodlawn, “Medicated Plants”
Isa Alvarez, Westinghouse High School, “Killing Soil Microorganisms on Plant Growth”
Jaeda Branch, Morgan Park High School, “Catch the Sun”
Ibrahim Khaleel and Faraz Khan, College Preparatory School of America, “What’s in Your Water?”
Violette Montanez, Suarez High School, “Which Type of Water Is Hardest?”
Raafia Mulla and Eshwa Rashid, College Preparatory School of America, “Tap Water vs. Bottled Water”
Grade 11
Mary Kate Cahill, St. Scholastica High School, “You Stink: Pollution in the Chicago River”
Charles Herrera, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, “Evaluation of a GPS Unit on Necks of Cattle”
Michael Nguyen, Air Force Academy, “Martian DO2me”
Deanna Pirpiris and Patrice Pirpiris, Taft High School, “Catching More Rays”
Christopher Smith, Dunbar High School, “Soil Type and Water Retention”
Deneb Zavala, Lane Technical High School, “Creating a Water Filter for Third World Countries”
Established in 1889, the MWRD is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.