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International Science Fair
80 countries, territories and regions. 1,414 projects. $5 million in prizes and scholarships. 2 Clay County students.
The International Science & Engineering Fair included all of these numbers when it took place May 12th - May 17th in Phoenix, AZ. Fleming Island High School's Gavin Baker represented Clay County with his project "It's Getting Hot in Here!". His project focused upon saving energy when cooling houses by creating a smart-vent system that would sense the temperatures in each room of the house. Once the desired temperature for one room is reached, the vent would shut in that room, increasing air flow to the hotter rooms. This system would equate to a $42.59 reduction in energy costs monthly and approximately 2 tons of coal conserved annually. Gavin's project won a $4,000 first place special award from the Arizona Public Service for sustainable energy solutions.
Ridgeview High School's Michael Chen competed with his project, "A Novel Method to Alleviate the Water Crisis in Uganda", which sought to provide a sustainable and cost-effective solution to the clean water crisis that is affecting native populations. Approximately 61% of Ugandans do not have a reliable source of clean drinking water. Michael constructed a solar still that houses a grass that is native to Uganda that when placed in the Sun, is capable of generating approximately 4.8 liters of clean drinking water. His low-cost solar still design has the potential to provide clean drinking water to every household in Uganda. This project caught the attention of the Ricoh Electronics Company, which awarded him with a $10,000 special award for its potential for sustainable development.
Michael and Gavin represented Clay County well, providing innovative solutions to real-world problems. While both students did not place in their respective categories, they plan on returning next year with new and innovative ideas that have the potential to solve the world's problems and increase quality of life across the globe.