HCWA hosts Georgia Model Water Tower Competition for Henry County Schools
(McDonough, GA – Nov. 7, 2016) The Henry County Water Authority (HCWA), in partnership with the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) and the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA), hosted the 2016 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition for Henry County Schools on Friday Oct. 28, at its Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant. It was one of six regional events held in conjunction with the statewide Competition.
The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, which was first held in 2012, is a friendly, local competition among Middle School Students across the state who come up with an idea for a functioning water tower. The students then follow the process water professionals use to design and build a water tower with specific size and height requirements.
The student model water tower entries are judged based on three criteria – structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. In addition, students must complete interviews with a panel of judges, which were comprised of HCWA division managers, who pose questions for the participants to answer. 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 offers students a better understanding of the value of water and the importance of reliable drinking water, in addition to introducing them to the real world operations of a water utility and career opportunities within the water industry. The event also engages students in hands-on learning of STEM curricula – science, technology, engineering, and math – which are emphasized by Georgia educators.
In addition to hosting and judging the student model water towers, the HCWA staff also provided student activities and tours of the award-winning Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant for students and teachers in attendance. The HCWA Tussahaw Plant is the 2016 GAWP Plant of the Year in Georgia for surface water production facilities with capacities up to 15 MGD.
“This is an excellent event, allowing the students to display their creativity during a very good learning experience,” says Austin Road Middle School teacher Chandra Houston. “This competition teaches the students the engineering-design process, which all engineers go through to solve real world problems. This is a direct application of STEM curricula, too, which opens up the possibilities for courses these students can take in high school to prepare them for careers in the industry.”
The winners of the 2016 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition among Henry County Schools included:
- First Place Water Tower – the Locust Grove Middle School team of sixth graders Preston Whitfield, Jason Gardner, and Elijah Richards, who were awarded $300.
- Second Place Water Tower – Ola Middle School sixth grader John Mangual, who received $200.
- Third Place Water Tower – Woodland Middle School sixth grader Connor Coleman, who won $100.
- Award for “Most Artistic Design” – Woodland Middle School eighth grader Jasmine Palacios.
- Award for “Best Engineering” – the Austin Road Middle School team of sixth graders Martin Bong, Jr., Wesley Bell, III, and Kendrick Colvin.
- Award for “Outstanding Presentation/Judge’s Choice” – Locust Grove Middle School sixth grader Bryson Gordon.
Photos from this year’s Georgia Model Water Tower Competition in Henry County are available on the Henry County Water Authority website at www.hcwa.com/galleries/list.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.