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Frederick students win grant to fund water project in Africa

Frederick students win grant to fund water project in Africa. (Photo: ABC7)

Young people gathered around a table in a Frederick classroom with a purpose: to help students thousands of miles away.

"We're trying to create a water remediation system for a small school in Ethiopia," 17-year-old Andrew Daddone told ABC7 News.

The Melka Olba School needs clean drinking water and students at the Frederick Career and Technology Center are developing a way for the school to have an onsite, sustainable, supply.

Phil Arnold, instructor of the computer-aided design engineering class described the invention as, "A rocket stove furnace, a boiler, and a condenser so that they could create drinkable water."

Although students are testing the furnace with wood as a fuel source, the ultimate goal is to use bamboo to help reduce deforestation in Ethiopia.

Since last school year, the classmates have been researching, designing and developing a prototype. Their idea recently received a nod from the Lemelson-MIT Program which awarded the students a $9,000 InvenTeam grant.

Daddone added, "It propelled our project forward. All of the money is budgeted into building the prototypes and testing."

The funding brings the class a step closer to improving life for the children in Ethiopia. They hope to have the furnace in place by summer.

Twelfth Grader Ly Nguyen expressed, "It can actually make an impact in our world and we can make a difference."

In June, the students will visit The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge where they'll showcase their invention at EurekaFest; a multi-day event that celebrates high school and college inventions.

The water remediation project has gotten considerable community support including funding from the Rotary Club of Frederick.

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