Team:East Chapel Hill/HP/Silver

Orange County Water and Sewer Association Interview

On June 12th, 2017, our team went to visit the Orange County Water and Sewer Association (OWASA) to ask some questions pertaining to our project background. We met with Ken Loflin, the Water Treatment Manager at OWASA who was kind enough to give us a tour of the facility; outlining where our water comes from, what “treatment” entails, and where it goes when we are done with it!
We created a study guide using the information gleaned from the OWASA trip, which can be viewed here:

The study guide was distributed amongst students in AP Environmental Science Classes at East Chapel Hill High School who were learning about water treatment!

    • Here is a good rule of thumb: If clean water comes out of it, ONLY clean water goes back in it! Solids, oils, or grease will clog pipes, either in your house or in our community network. With the exception of human waste, everything else should go straight in the trash. Things like unneeded or expired medication should be taken to the local police or sheriff's department rather than dumped down the drain. We all have a right to clean and safe water, but we also have a responsibility to care for the systems that keep it that way!

After the tour, we asked Ken Loflin, the Water and Treatment manager, a few questions about their facility and the benefits and disadvantages of fluoride. Ken expressed his excitement for our budding project, and thought creating a bioreactor for the water treatment plant to bioremediate toxic levels of fluoride was a viable idea.

Magazine Feature in Chapel Hill Magazine (November Issue)

The East Chapel Hill High School Team will feature in the Chapel Hill Magazine for the November Issue! The issue will share the accomplishments, development, and enthusiasm of our team and iGEM with the city of Chapel Hill.

Fundraisers: Darwin Day and the Chapel Hill Public Library!

Our team decided to hold our first fundraiser on Darwin Day at the Raleigh Museum of Natural Sciences. Darwin Day is meant for children and adults of all ages to learn about the way Darwin’s ideas, such as the theory of natural selection and the theory of evolution impact scientific research. Our team thought it would be a great idea to hold our first fundraiser at this venue considering that many of those in attendance would be interested in science and the scientific method. We were allowed to set up a booth at the museum and explain our project to passerby as a way to garner donations. In preparation, our team worked together to design a tri-fold display board explaining the logistics of the iGEM competition, our idea, and the research behind it. We raised awareness about the dangers of excess fluoride in third world water systems, introduced the novel riboswitch mechanism, sparked the curiosity of some middle schoolers interested in competing/starting their own iGEM team in the near future, all while raising funds! Additionally our team held multiple fundraisers during school lunches and at the Chapel Hill Public Library on weekends using our handy tri-fold display board, baked goods, and even frozen yogurt! These were great ways to gain practice in presenting our project and raising awareness about iGEM to the public.

Here is a picture of our poster board:

Our team at Darwin Day at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences publicizing iGEM and sharing our project!
Our team selling baked good at the Chapel Hill Public Library and publicizing our project and iGEM!

Club Week iGEM Stand

Every year our school reserves one week at the beginning the school year for clubs at East to advertise themselves and make themselves known to the public. We recruited ~50 students for our 2017-2018 iGEM Team and talked to the supervising faculty about all the amazing things we’ve learned and done this year!!

Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert

Our East Chapel Hill iGEM Team is sponsoring the Hurricane Relief Benefit Concerthosted by Rise for Youth and National Honors Society NHS! As sponsors of the concert, our team plans to take this opportunity to reach out to the audience and discuss our project and recruit members for the 2017-2018 iGEM Team!