General News

Hwa Chong’s Aspiring Researchers Win International Junior Water Prize 2018

06 Sep 2018

Caleb Liow Jia Le (4S3) and Johnny Xiao Hong Yu (4S3) were presented the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize by the H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize at an award ceremony on 28 August 2018 at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.  This  competition is a prestigious international student competition that  provides young scientists with the opportunity to participate in an experiential journey to understand and appreciate water-related issues and propose impactful solutions which can be applied for the general good of mankind.  This year, 48 national finalists from 32 countries competed in the finals held during World Water Week in Stockholm.

The team represented Singapore to vie for the international prize, after coming in first at the Singapore Junior Water Prize, organised by Ngee Ann Polytechnic, the Lien Foundation and Sembcorp Industries, and supported by PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency. After beating a total of 35 teams in the Singapore Junior Water Prize national finals earlier in May this year, the 3-man team comprising Caleb Liow Jia Le, Johnny Xiao Hong Yu and Shane Ho all from 4S3, clinched the championship with their project “A novel, ecofriendly synthesis of reduced graphene oxide for water filters”.

The team won top honours for developing a new method to produce reduced graphene oxide (rGO), a material that has huge potential to purify water. Using durian rind and sugarcane bagasse the students found an environmentally friendly and low-cost method for producing rGO.

In its citation, the Jury commended the team:
         “This year’s winning project inspires communities to find local solutions to improve water quality and resource recovery. The project developed a leading edge, inexpensive, and widely applicable method to clean water. Further development of this method will lead to public health and ecosystems protection. Therefore, the project embodies the themes of 2018 World Water Week – Water, Ecosystems and Human Development. The winning project has included concepts of circular economy, nanotechnology, and green chemistry. The project’s success will set new trends in the way we filter water.”

This marks Singapore’s second win at the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition, since its participation in 2008. The team received a USD 15,000 award and a blue crystal prize sculpture. HCI, the winning school was also awarded a diploma and USD 5000.

From left to right: Caleb Liow Jia Le (4S3), Johnny Xiao Hong Yu (4S3), H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

From left to right: Johnny Xiao Hong Yu (4S3), Caleb Liow Jia Le (4S3), Mrs Sow-Peh Yoke Keow (Lead teacher/Chemistry and research) and Dr Ng Hui Li (Ngee Ann Polytechnic)

SJWP3From left to right: Caleb Liow Jia Le (4S3), Johnny Xiao Hong Yu (4S3) and Mr Patrick Decker (CEO of Xylem Inc., a leading global water technology company dedicated to solving the world’s most challenging water issues)

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