Students win grant for water infiltration project, plans to build in Kenya

Local News

Students at Davenport West High School came up with an idea that will help save lives.

The created a water filtration system prototype with plans to have it built in Kenya in January 2020.

The project started two years ago with around 50 students.

In June, they became the first school in Iowa to go to the Lemelson-MIT Program where they won a $10,000 grant.

The money was used to test the equipment and further develop their research.

Plans for the upcoming school year include developing instructions on how to build and use the system for the people in Kenya.

Piper Thomas, who graduated last year, was glad to be a part of the project.

“I don’t even know if I have words to describe how that makes me feel,” Thomas said. “That somewhere across the world right now, like once we get our system implemented, that we’re going to go out there and help change their lives like how do you even put that in to words you know?”

The teacher that has worked with the students, Jason Franzenburg, has witnessed his students’ growth and progress.

“There’s so many lessons to be learned here in communication, teamwork, understanding of culture in Kenya,” Franzeburg said. “There’s just so many aspects to it. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly all of the areas they’ve grown, but they’re really maturing as young men and women so I’m very proud of them.”

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