Alison Bick of Short Hills, a 2011 graduate of Millburn High School, has been named the U.S. winner of the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for developing a low-cost, portable and publicly accessible method for testing water potability.  Bick will represent the United States in Stockholm at the International Finals from August 21-27.

Bick’s project, “Development and Evaluation of a Microfluidic Co-Flow Device to Determine Water-Quality,” was selected from more than 40 state SJWP winners at the national competition held in Chicago from June 23-25. The same project also earned her a trip to the Intel finals this past spring. As the U.S. winner of the SJWP, Bick will receive a $3,000 scholarship and the national trophy, along with an all-expense-paid trip with her science teacher, Dr. Paul Gilmore, to Stockholm, Sweden, where she will compete against national winners from more than 30 countries for the international honor during World Water Week, August 21-27, 2011. HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will present the international award—$5,000 and crystal sculpture—during a royal ceremony held in conjunction with the Stockholm Water Symposium.

Concerned by the threat of contaminated drinking water from events such as natural or man-made disasters, Bick sought a low-cost, portable and publicly accessible method for testing water potability. Her research concluded that a combination of microfluidics, cell-phones, and Colilert-18—a chemical that becomes yellow in the presence of coliform bacteria and a water sample in a single channel—is a novel way of determining several water qualities.

“Miss Bick’s project dealt with an emerging technology and associated issues that were clearly state-of-the-art science,” said Mohamed F. Dahab, Chair of the SJWP Review Committee. “Overall, we were very impressed with the high caliber of research and creativity presented by all of the young men and women who participated in this year’s competition.”

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All finalists also get an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles, California, to display their research at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC®), October 15-19.

As a result of Bick’s win, Millburn High School will receive a $1,000 educational grant to enhance water education and research in the classroom.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is the world's most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. The prize taps into the unlimited potential of today's high school students as they seek to address current and future water challenges.  

More information about the contest may be found at their websites:

U.S. Website: http://www.wef.org/SJWP/?ekmensel=c57dfa7b_62_0_146_1

International Website:  www.SIWI.org.