DC Students’ Innovative Water Filter Project Leads Them to Finals In NASA Tech Competition

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Congratulations are in order for three Washington, D.C. students who’ve been named finalists in a prestigious tech competition put on by NASA.

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School students Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner and Bria Snell, are among eight finalists in the new NASA Goddard OSPARC Challenge, which encourages students to find everyday uses for NASA spin-off technology, Technically DC reported.

The trio, which goes by the name S3, created a project to address problems with lead pipes in urban areas that features a special filter designed to clean drinking water in schools. The cleverly-titled “H2NO to H2O” project points out that D.C. is currently renovating several of its schools, so their invention could likely be used there.

Sharrieff, Skinner and Snell first developed the idea as part of their work at the Inclusive Innovation Incubator, a space on Howard University’s campus aimed at fostering the ideas and creativity of diverse entrepreneurs, according to a press release. The trio has also explored other areas of the tech world including, “coding, community problem-solving through design, social networking, entrepreneurship and mobile app development.”

So what’s the grand prize? The eleventh graders are competing for a four–day workshop with seasoned scientists and astronauts at the NASA Goddard Facility in Greenbelt, Md, as well as $4,000.

Public voting for the team’s “Glog” is open until April 30, and the group currently stands in third place. Sharrieff, Skinner and Snell are the only all-female team and the sole African-American team in the competition.

Congrats ladies!