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Contest challenges students to solve Arizona’s water problems

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:02 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona’s high school juniors and seniors this week will design unique engineering solutions for water challenges faced by communities throughout the state.

The Challenge 2021: Access to Clean Water, is the latest virtual engineering design competition hosted by the TriU Engineering Partnership, a collaboration between the engineering colleges at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. This year’s event is being hosted by UA.

Teams of two to five students will each clearly define a water-related problem in Arizona and propose unique engineering strategies to address it. Peers, undergraduates, and faculty members will provide support and guidance, and professional judges will critique the final solutions.

Jennifer Velez, outreach and recruitment program coordinator and senior at the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University, said they chose water because of its importance to people living in a desert climate.

“We all take for granted that we can turn on the faucet and voila, clean drinking water. But this really is a multifaceted problem. So, we think it’s really important that students take a closer look at this because it’s probably a problem they’re going to have to grapple with one day,” Velez said.

Velez added the competition is also a good way for Arizona students to check out each of the three engineering schools.

It’s also a chance for students to look at what challenges are going on in their own backyard and how they can play a role in fixing them.

Workshops, panel discussions, and facilitated team meetings will be held Tuesday through Friday, June 15-18. Afterward, team solutions will be critiqued by a panel of engineering faculty and professionals.

Prizes for the best solution, most innovative solution, and best engineering documentation will be awarded.

The winners will be announced on Monday, June 21.

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