Students from Riverland Elementary Schools gathered in Berri to showcase their most imaginative inventions to promote water conservation.
- Student projects are part of a program to get students thinking about water sustainability
- Teachers say the project helps students find creative solutions to real-world problems
- Inventions included a shower timer and an anti-spill pet waterer
Younger generations learn the importance of saving water by designing innovative solutions to real-life water use problems in a world-wide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) challenge. South Australia.
The challenge, facilitated by SA Water and IT company SA Makers Empire, is being held at Berri Primary School as a satellite event for pupils in Riverland alongside a larger exhibition in Adelaide.
Students were able to use 3D printing to demonstrate their inventions.
Inspired by real-world issues
Berri Elementary School STEM coordinator Zack Plaquet said the challenge jump-started students’ creative problem-solving skills.
“Kids had this freedom to think about the problems they saw around school, around their house or anything related to water,” he said.
“They have to use their skills and knowledge to try to solve problems.”
Berri Elementary School Grade 3 students, Amy Simon and Nardia Gilles, came up with solutions to the water usage issues they noticed around the house.
Amy’s group invented a shower timer after noticing prolonged water use due to cold winter weather.
“When you step into the shower, you enter a number into the timer and the maximum is 10 minutes,” she said.
“I get in the shower and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s a little cold outside’, but before I created the shower timer, my mom told me to get out, but I’m like, ‘I don’t want to no I think I’ll just stay inside.
“Our shower timer will automatically turn off the water and you’ll know it’s time to step outside.”
No spillage for pets
Meanwhile, Nardia Gilles’ group wanted to create a way to reduce water waste when feeding their pets.
The invention is contoured to the floor to prevent tipping and features a button and release system that shoots water into the air for the dog to drink.
“The leftover water will go into a bowl and the dog will drink it or it will go through a filter and be reused,” Nardia said.
Students said they liked learning science at school because it gave them a new way of thinking about the world.
“I really love science and had a lot of fun,” Amy said.
“I hope the inventions will enter the real world because I want to save a lot more water.”