Students Explore Sustainable Water Solutions for the 21st Century in a National Competition
June 03, 2014
A team of four students from Hwa Chong Institution have been named the winners of the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize, a nationwide competition which gives participants as young as 15 a taste of what it is like to be water scientists and engineers.
Organised by Science Centre Singapore, supported by Singapore’s national water agency, PUB, and sponsored by leading water company Sembcorp, the competition this year focused on comparing processes used to treat surface water on a large scale. 100 secondary school and junior colleague students took up the challenge to build their own mini water treatment plants, using technology actually employed by real-life industry players. This included technology for coagulation and sand filtration, as well as filtration using polymeric hollow fibre as well as ceramic membranes.
As our global population grows towards nine billion in 2050, the world will be faced with such issues as sustainable development. At the core will be water sustainability issues; how we will gain access to clean, drinkable water,” said Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore. “We are pleased to collaborate with Sembcorp on this very meaningful programme that highlights a global issue to our local students and provides them an opportunity to contribute ideas and solutions towards a global cause.”
Chew Men Leong, Chief Executive, PUB, added, “Ensuring water sustainability and efficiency in water treatment processes will always be ongoing concerns, and the solutions discussed will have an impact on the future. It is a natural and important step for youths to be involved in these programmes and discussions. Through programmes such as the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize, we hope to expose them to issues faced in water management, and through this, nurture and develop the next generation of water leaders and entrepreneurs.”
To prepare them for the challenge of building their own water treatment plants, students received hands-on training and exposure to actual materials, technologies and strategies used in the water industry and by water policy makers. They learnt where water for everyday life comes from, and how surface water is treated on a large scale to meet the needs of millions.
The winning team, comprising Secondary 4 students Jaron Yong, Wang Jiale, Ooi Ren Yi and Daniel Ong impressed the judges with their ability to apply what they had learnt on water technology to the challenge. The team won a cash prize of S$1,500 and a two-week internship with Sembcorp. The first and second runner-up teams came from CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent and Global Indian International School respectively and won cash prizes of S$1,000 and $500. All three winning teams were presented their awards by Grace Fu, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Environment & Water Resources and Foreign Affairs, at a ceremony held on the sidelines of Singapore International Water Week.
Commenting on the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize, Tang Kin Fei, Group President & CEO of Sembcorp Industries, said, “Sembcorp is proud to sponsor the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize. Through this competition over the years, we have been able to provide hundreds of students with exposure to water technology, and guide them as they try their hand at developing solutions to address real challenges faced by the water industry today. As Singapore’s largest water company, we hope this piques their interest in water technology, and encourages them to aspire to be the future generation of talents for our water industry.”
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About Sembcorp Water Technology Prize
The Sembcorp Water Technology Prize is a national competition for secondary and junior college students. It aims to stimulate students’ interest in a career in the water industry, provide a platform for them to create innovative solutions to solve water and environmental issues, and build affinity towards water and awareness of Singapore’s water assets.
The competition is sponsored Sembcorp Industries, organised by Science Centre Singapore and supported by PUB – Singapore’s National Water Agency.
About Sembcorp Industries
One of Singapore’s largest listed companies, Sembcorp Industries is a leading energy, water and marine group operating across six continents worldwide. With facilities of over 7,200 megawatts of gross power capacity and over eight million cubic metres of water per day in operation and under development, it is a trusted provider of essential energy and water solutions to both industrial and municipal customers.
Supported by in-house analytical and laboratory capabilities, expertise from local tertiary research institutes and strategic partnerships with water technology players, Sembcorp is committed to applying best available technology to meet its customers’ needs.
The company pioneered the commercial reclamation of treated municipal and industrial wastewater effluent into high purity reclaimed water in Singapore using advanced membrane systems such as microfiltration and reverse osmosis. In addition, it developed, owns and operates the Sembcorp NEWater Plant, the largest and most advanced NEWater plant in Singapore.
Sembcorp’s facilities worldwide include diverse models of water and wastewater treatment plants. Together with its pilot plants, these provide important test-beds to conduct research, improve and develop technologies and applications in total water and wastewater management.
About Science Centre Singapore
Science Centre Singapore is a non-formal educational institution and a leading regional Science Centre. A custodian of creativity and innovation, the Centre has captured the evolution of scientific developments through unique and relevant exhibitions and shows.
The Centre houses 14 exhibition galleries with more than 1,000 exhibits, another 30,000 sq metres of outdoor exhibition space showcasing the Waterworks exhibition, Ecogarden and Kinetic Garden as well as the Omni-Theatre – Singapore’s only dome-shaped, 5-storey high IMAX theatre.
The Centre and its partners have played a pivotal role in transforming the way students and the public interact with and learn about science & technology. Together with the Omni-Theatre and Snow City, it has engaged and enriched more than 29.5 million students and visitors since 1977.
This year, the Centre launched an ‘I Love Science Centre’ campaign to share our love for science with everyone and demonstrate the many things to love about the Science Centre. The Science Centre, Omni-Theatre and Snow City received 1.26 million visitors for FY2012/2013. For more information, please visit www.science.edu.sg
PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. It is the national water agency, managing Singapore’s water supply, water catchment and used water in an integrated way.
About PUB’s tagline: Water for All: Conserve, Value, Enjoy
PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the Four National Taps (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water).
To provide water for all, PUB calls on all to play our part to conserve water, keep our water catchments and waterways clean and build a relationship with water so we can enjoy our water resources. If we all play our part, we can have enough water – for industry, for living, for life.