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Ridgewood High School Students Awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant to Create a Solar Water Bottle


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood High School was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the amount of $8500.00 to create a “Solar Aqua Tech” portable reusable water-sanitizing bottle. Ridgewood High School is one of 13 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.

Dr. Hsuan Lillian Labowsky, science teacher and Mr. John Wohner, engineering teacher at Ridgewood High School initiated the InvenTeam application process last spring and worked with the students over the summer to prepare the final proposal. A prestigious panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, as well as representatives from industry and former Lemelson-MIT Award winners, assembled virtually this fall and selected Ridgewood High School as one of this year’s InvenTeam grantees.

In the Solar Aqua Tech bottle, water and oxygen will generate hydrogen peroxide on-demand to sanitize water when energized by solar power. The heart of the invention is to design a system around a unique catalyst-coated electrode to produce hydrogen peroxide, known to eliminate waterborne pathogens. This bottle will benefit hiker/campers and anyone in need of clean water. The Solar Aqua technology can potentially be scaled up for use in large water treatment facilities to benefit entire communities.


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