Pilgrim Academy students use fresh ideas to earn top marks at water competition

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Two teams of fifth-grade students from Pilgrim Academy used fresh and creative thinking to walk away with two top prizes at a recent water-project competition.

The contest, which is sponsored by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science, and Technology (IMarEST), challenged students to come up with creative and sustainable ways to provide human populations with safe, drinkable water.

Pilgrim’s Water Masters team (Diego Garcia, Roberto Mendez, and Edison Tzoc) took home first place in the elementary division for its idea, a tanker ship that filters sea water to provide fresh drinkable water for poor communities along the coast. The Water Savers team (Kiara Brinson, Betzy Yanez, and Robert Marroquin) won second place for its idea about a train that can deliver filtered water taken from rivers to inland communities.

Pilgrim science teacher and the students’ coach for the competition, Nancy Romero, said that it was rewarding to see her students come up with fresh ideas and work together. “I am thankful that Pilgrim got to participate,” she said. “It is rewarding to expose students to scientific and engineering concepts at an early age and then see them apply them to real-world problems.”

More than 20 schools from Katy and Houston ISDs participated in the competition, and Pilgrim was the only HISD participant invited to the finals on March 23. The first-place winners received $500, and second place won $250, along with medals and certificates.