HCWA hosts Georgia Model Water Tower Competition
While the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) was implementing the successful operation of its new South Ola Elevated Water Tank late last year, students from Henry County Schools were showing off their own water towers at the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, hosted by the Authority at its Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant.
The Henry County Georgia Model Water Tower Competition is part of a statewide contest challenging middle school students to design and build water towers with specific size and height requirements, while learning more about the value of water and the water industry. This past fall, middle school students from Henry County Schools competed in this regional event, which was one of 10 held throughout the state.
The student model water towers were judged by water professionals from the HCWA, who graded each according to three criteria – structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. In addition, participating students completed interviews in front of a panel of judges who asked specific questions about their projects, including the role that water towers play within the community and, more specifically, within a public water system such as the HCWA. The students constructed their model water towers out of everyday household items and were rewarded for creative designs and the use of recycled materials.
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 participating students more aware of the importance of reliable drinking water, while introducing them to rewarding career opportunities available in the water industry.
The 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.
“My students spent a lot of time on this, since the beginning of the school year, and they worked really hard on their water towers,” says Whitney Henderson, a Sixth Grade Teacher at Ola Middle School who brought several teams to the event, including the contest winners. “It’s a lot of fun to see them work through a critical thinking challenge and watch them problem solve. This is a great application of what they’re learning in school, with the additional opportunity to show off their creativity. They really enjoyed the whole process.”
Winners of the Henry County Georgia Model Water Tower Competition included:
* First Place – Team “Chicken Littles” from Ola Middle School: Braelin Herzler, Autumn Eady, and Aliyah Ford.
* Second Place – Team “Pineapple” from Ola Middle School: Carson Schmitt, Brayden Hutto, Cadyn Barnes, and Lucas Beck.
* Third Place – Team “Jetpack” from Locust Grove Middle School: Bryson Gordon and Matthew Cowert.
* The Judge’s Choice Award – Team “Girls Got Milk” from Ola Middle School: Julianna Owens and Kyra Gibson.
* The Structural Excellence Award – Team “Pineapple” from Ola Middle School: Carson Schmitt, Brayden Hutto, Cadyn Barnes, and Lucas Beck.
* Outstanding Achievement in Artistic Design – Kimberly Nevarez from Austin Road Middle School.
* Outside the Box Imagination Award – Team “Up” from Ola Middle School: Addi Johnson and Kendall Sliver.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.