The Center for Science Teaching and Learning teamed up with Stony Brook University on July 14, 2017, to host the finals for the Spellman High Voltage Electronic Clean Tech Competition held at the LDS Center on campus.
Every year since the competition began in 2012, a theme is chosen that incorporates research and design focusing on scientific innovation for environmentally responsible energy sources. “Creating a Greener Future” was this year’s theme, as the competition began with 330 teams from 26 different countries. The final 10 teams were then invited to Stony Brook University to determine the overall winners. Three of these teams were from New Jersey while the others were from Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Texas, the Philippines and Singapore.
Rising high school juniors Alyssa Iryami and Audrey Shine from Plainview-Old Bethpage school district on Long Island earned first place and a $10,000 grand prize for their project, “SuperSilk,” a water purification system using silkworm cocoons. SuperSilk has practical applications as an inexpensive filter that can help combat the international water crisis.
“We have such a passion for material science, we’ve always loved working with chemistry and graphing, which is at the cutting edge,” said Iryami. “We knew that was something we wanted to do.”
“After creating something amazing, we asked ourselves, ‘How can we apply this super material to make the world a safer, cleaner and greater place?’, and this is where it has led us,” added Shine.
The Philippine Science High School team created an online system to regulate electricity consumption among household applications and was awarded second place with a $7,000 prize. Taking third place and a $5,000 prize, the team from Florida known as Eco-Breathe made a portable low-cost filtration system for kerosene lamps to battle sick building syndrome in low-resource regions. The balance of the teams were awarded $1,000 each for making it to the finals.
Being one of only 10 universities nationwide recognized by the National Science Foundation for combining research with undergraduate education, Stony Brook was thrilled to host these impressive high school students of the Clean Tech competition and encouraged them to consider the University as a potential future college.
Fotis Sotiropoulos, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Judith Greiman, Vice President for Government and Community Relations, spoke at the event and expressed the importance of student research at the University.
As the day came to an end, the students and their families had an opportunity to participate in lab tours arranged by Professor Harold Walker, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, to show Stony Brook’s commitment to research and innovation.
— Cohen Miles-Rath, Community Relations Office