Ana Humphrey, a sophomore at T. C. Williams High School has been named a runner up for the grand prize at the 2017 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the most prestigious youth awards for water-related science projects.
Ana was one of two runners-up who competed against 49 other projects, one from every state, and received $1,000 for her project. This spring, Ana won the state level of Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition and went on to represent the state of Virginia in the national competition. Ana also previously won first place at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in San Diego, California.
I’ve met so many bright and passionate students all working to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Being able to be among these students has taught me what students are capable of and encouraged me to work even harder on my own research. I think that, together, we will be able to change the world,” Ana said.
Ana is a student in the Independent Science Research class at T.C. Williams, taught by Shawn Lowe, who herself was awarded a prestigious STEM Research Grant from the Society for Science and the Public this week. The grant will help remove economic barriers for students who traditionally are underrepresented in science.
This is the seventh year that this class has been offered at T.C. Williams and the fourth year that T.C. Williams has participated in the International Science and Engineering Fair. The school has also participated in the national Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, represented Virginia in the national Stockholm Junior Water Prize twice and participates in state competitions annually. The class has quadrupled in size next year from six students to 22.
The seed for Ana’s project, “ColiFind: A Digital Image Analysis Application to Identify E. coli Colonies in Coliscan Easygel Water Quality Tests,” was planted back in eighth grade, when she was inspired by her work on the waterborne bacteria problem in Alexandria at Four Mile Run and Hunting Creek. She realized this problem was not local but global and wanted to find an inexpensive, simple test to monitor the bacteria. The ColiFind app was designed specifically to test the waterborne bacteria.
Ana plans on continuing her work with the ColiFind app she has created and presenting it again in the fall at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Conference.
See Ana explain her app, how it works, and how it can benefit our environment: