Second Place - Middle School

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

  • Goal 13: Climate Action

2019 Youth Design Challenge

This design concept was developed by participants in the Institute’s Youth Design Challenge. The descriptions below are from the team’s competition entry materials.

School: Wilbur Wright Middle School
Location: Munster, IN, United States
Coach: Laura Norman
Team members: Kristiana Petrovic, Bryce Gelarden, Hannah Loredo, Jackson Collard

Video Pitch

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Innovation Details

People of the Atacama Desert have come up with ways to collect water out of thin air, but this team wanted to create something more efficient. Air2Water is a roofing tile that harvests fog from thin air. Slanted grooves on the base of the metal tile will lead the water into a series of pipes where it can be used. The team have also incorporated some of the methods used by people living the the Atacama Desert, such as mesh material that dew collects on.

The Atacama Desert on the coast of Chile is the driest region in the world with an average rainfall of 0.04 inches per year. In fact, some regions have never recorded rainfall. This is why streams formed by the nearby Andes Mountains are necessary for survival. However, due to rising temperatures caused by climate change, these streams beds dry out during certain periods of time. Since the Atacama Desert is located on the coast, fog from the Pacific Ocean forms over a very large portion of the desert, which is their only reliable source of water.

The team has selected the Namib Beetle and the Honey Bee. The team wanted to use the Namib Beetle because of its superhydrophobic back contains bumps that collects fog. When dew forms on its back, they drip into its mouth. The team decided to incorporate the Honey Bee because of the honeycombs they construct. The unique structure holds together well and is one of the only shapes that fits perfectly with no empty space over a plane. Therefore, this would make sure all water is being collected and there are no open spots on the roof.