Young scientists' research win honors at 'A Celebration of STEM'

  • College Prep School of America students Maaria Firdaus of Lombard, center, and Ruwaida Khadeer of Addison receive their science fair honors from Frank Avila, a commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

    College Prep School of America students Maaria Firdaus of Lombard, center, and Ruwaida Khadeer of Addison receive their science fair honors from Frank Avila, a commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Courtesy of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

  • Frank Avila, a commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, congratulates Hameedullah Khan, a Schaumburg student at College Prep School of America in Lombard.

    Frank Avila, a commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, congratulates Hameedullah Khan, a Schaumburg student at College Prep School of America in Lombard. Courtesy of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

  • Science fair winners and their families tour the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.

    Science fair winners and their families tour the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant. Courtesy of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

 
Submitted by Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
Posted7/29/2019 10:19 PM

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago recently held its annual science fair honoring several award-winning projects from the area, including three students from College Prep School of America in Lombard.

• Hameedulla Khan, a Schaumburg resident who recently completed eighth grade, was honored for his project entitled, "Solar powered water desalination."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Maaria Firdaus, a Lombard resident who recently completed sophomore year, was honored for her project entitled, "A solution to water pollution."

• Ruwaida Khadeer, an Addison resident who recently completed sophomore year, was honored for her project entitled, "Effect of Nostoc bacteria on salvinia minima's ability to absorb crude oil."

Commissioner Frank Avila presented each of them with a certificate for their incredible work.

Science fair winners were honored at "A Celebration of STEM" event designed to encourage environmental sciences education and equip students with an understanding of the district's critical work.

New this year, the annual science fair turned to the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, where students displayed their engaging work to commissioners, scientists and staff and gar­nered feedback, and support. Following a small expo of the students work, the district provided a lesson of their own by providing a guided tour of their fa­cilities and labs and presentations by commissioners and staff.

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"We congratulate the students on their award-win­ning research and hope during this learning process they have gained a greater interest in environmental sciences and ecology, as well as a better understand­ing of their water environment," said MWRD Presi­dent Kari K. Steele.

"A Celebration of STEM" honored students, rang­ing in grades seven through twelve, who participated in the annual Chicago public or nonpublic schools science fairs held in March at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Museum of Science and Indus­try. The district selected the 50 winning students based on their research in the categories of Environ­mental Science and Ecology.

"We are always happy to welcome and engage with talented students interested in STEM education, be­cause it's these future leaders who will be responsible for protecting the next generation's important water resources," said Frank Avila, chairman of finance. "Based on our interactions today, our future is clearly in capable hands."

The students and their guests attended a STEM career presentation by MWRD Principal Environ­mental Scientist Dr. Geeta Rijal, who discussed her role and her journey to becoming an expert in the field of microbiology. The students were then given a unique tour bringing them face to face with the people and operations working behind the scenes and at the forefront of wastewater treatment to protect the region's water supply source, Lake Michigan, and the health of the residents, visitors and environment in Cook County.

"We commend these students, as well as the teachers and parents who have supported them," said Com­missioner Debra Shore. "The research that they have done is remarkable, and it bodes well for the future -- not just their individual futures as scholars, but our future as a society."

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has participated in the Chicago Pub­lic and Non-Public Schools' annual science fairs as a "Special Judge" for more than 20 years.

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