D.C. high school students seek to solve pollution problem

D.C. high school students seek to solve pollution problem (ABC7)

The stench of the polluted Anacostia River triggered the idea.

"I'm asking around, 'Anybody else smell that?' You know it's a really bad smell and they're like, 'Yeah, it's the Anacostia' and I'm like, Really?" 17-year-old Everett Reed explained.

Reed and his classmates at Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School got together to create a possible solution.

"We're trying to reduce the trash in the river and also trying to produce ethanol," Senior Ruth Kone stated.

Biology Teacher Shannon Wilson continued, "We're trying to eliminate the raw sewage from going into the Anacostia River. What we hope to do is to taking that raw sewage, that undesirable material that we flush down the toilet, and we're trying to make ethanol out of it."

The idea helped the team secure the state title in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest; a competition that encourages young people to solve real-world problems.

The next step is for the students to create a video showcasing the ethanol production facility and its benefits.

Already, they've won $25,000 in technology for their state win. Now it's on to the national stage for the chance to win a $150,000 technology package.

Reed concluded, "I feel like it will benefit the community as a whole as well as you won't hear all this stuff about the pollution in the Anacostia."

In addition to winning a technology package, the 10 top national finalists will have the chance to pitch their projects to a panel of judges.

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