HCWA hosts Georgia Model Water Tower Competition
Whether touring a real water tower or showing off their own model water tower, Henry County Middle School students spent the day with the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) on Friday (Nov. 17) during the Henry County – Georgia Model Water Tower Competition.
The Henry County Competition, held at the HCWA Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant, is one of seven regional events of the statewide Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, joining Competitions in Augusta, Carrollton, Cobb County, Griffin, Fayette County and Fulton County.
Participants in the 2017 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition in Henry County included students from Ola, Woodland, Austin Road, and Locust Grove Middle Schools. The winners from this year’s Henry County Competition include:
1st Place – Charlotte Smith, Sixth Grader from Ola Middle School.
2nd Place – The House Towers Team of Zoe Castellucci, Mason Rice, and Amelia Atkins, Sixth Graders from Ola Middle School.
3rd Place – The KB Paris Team of Kimberly Nevarez and Brooklynn Coleman, Seventh Graders at Austin Road Middle School.
Best Engineering Design – Anna Stokes, Sixth Grader from Austin Road Middle School.
Best Artistic Design – The House Towers, who also won 2nd Place overall.
Best Presentation/Judge’s Award – Landen Moss, Eighth Grader from Locust Grove Middle School.
The Middle School students from the Henry County School System were challenged to design and build model water towers with specific size and height requirements. Their towers were judged according to three criteria – structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity.
In addition, participating students completed interviews with a panel of industry professionals to answer questions about their science project. The model water towers may be designed and constructed from any materials. However, students are rewarded for using creative designs and recycled materials, such as everyday household items.
“The kids absolutely love the engineering challenge, trying to figure out how to make their towers better,” says Whitney Henderson, Teacher at Ola Middle School, whose students took home first and second place in the Henry County Competition. “I see them trouble shoot, realizing they’re doing what engineers do in the real world every day.”
“It’s great to see my kids being so inventive and going through the engineering process,” adds Christy Collier, Teacher at Locust Grove Middle School. “And being able to connect with the professionals at the Water Authority, while having the opportunity to do this, is just amazing.”
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).
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 Model Water Tower Competition requires that students develop an idea into a functioning water tower, just as water professionals do within the industry.
The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition also engages students in hands-on learning of STEM curricula – science, technology, engineering, and math – which are emphasized by Georgia educators and school administrations.
When they were not presenting their model water tower to judges from the water profession, the Middle School Students from Henry County enjoyed tours of the HCWA’s Ola Water Tank, set to come online this spring, as well as the award-winning Tussahaw Water Plant and Laboratory. The students also learned how to put together a standard residential water meter, prior to competing in their own “Meter Madness” Competition, which pitted a student from each of the four Middle Schools competing in a race to assemble their respective water meter in the fastest time.
For photos from the 2017 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition in Henry County, check out our website photo gallery.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.