A group of Osoyoos Secondary students are in the running for a $50,000 prize for a science project looking at conserving water use in the community.

Grade-11 student Hanna Shiels told a town council committee on Monday that the local group is one of 55 to reach the semi-finals of the Samsung Solve Tomorrow Contest.

The student team also includes Jasdeep Sandhu, Emma Fernandes, Julia Mocci, Gurkirat Toor and Gurlal Dhaliwal.

The local group is using science, math, engineering and technology tools to address water consumption levels in and around Osoyoos.

Science teacher Peter Gajda pointed put that the group started the project in class last semester. Now they are working on the project on their own time.

“These are our future leaders of our community,” said Mr. Gajda. “If they can take the school skills they learn and tackle real-world problems, I’m not worried about my future any more.”

Among the goals of the project, said Miss Shiels, are:

  • Communicating to residents and businesses that they don’t need to irrigate lawns and plants as often as they do;
  • Developing a digital application that would automatically regulate watering patterns according to weather conditions; and
  • Providing general information to inform people on ways to conserve water.

Mr. Gajda said the deadline for the next submission is March 8 and the results of the competition will likely be known in April.

“Eleven projects will move on. So if were selected from that phase we automatically get $20,000 in technology and then we go to a voting round.

“Our video will be posted on YouTube to compete against the other 10 and the top two vote getters will get another $50,000.”

Mayor Sue McKortoff said the town looks forward to possibly working with the student group toward its water conservation goal.


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