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Canterbury Academy Students Triumph in the Science Playoffs at KM Bright Sparks finals

 July 25 2017

Last year Canterbury Academy Bright Sparks Team 2016 designed a prototype which harvested condensation for the air for use in developing countries so they had a supply of drinking water. The prototype was designed to go on the side of houses. This was tested in Zambia and they discovered that in summer there was little condensation collected as temperatures remained the same.

Canterbury Academy Team 2017 were Alice Shaw (Year 9), Jack Wimble-Roberts (Year 9), Auryn Memmot (Year 9) and Ivana Hristova (Year 10). They decided to design a jug, which would filter dirty water using a graphene filter. To obtain this sand, sugar and water were placed in a slow cooker and stirred constantly for 6 hours. Stirring allowed an even coating of graphene on the sand. The sand was then moved to an oven and finally to a kiln at 750oC.

The graphene filter was tested out to see if it did clean up dirty water, including E.Coli.

A Brita jug was used. The contents of the filter was swapped for graphene. The jug itself is to be used at a Medical centre in Cameroon where they have no water supply.

Most superbugs come from India where antibiotics are washed away into the water course. This means bugs are evolving and becoming resistant to antibiotics so one day there will be no cure. Team 2017 decided to find out if their graphene filter would actually filter out un-used antibiotics. E.coli was grown and the team made agar plates with E.coli in. After testing different antibiotics they used streptomycin solution. This was most efficient at killing E.coli. Streptomycin was run through a graphene filter in a syringe and placed in wells made on the plate.

Results showed that E.coli grew when the graphene filter was used and did not grow without a graphene filter. It was concluded that the graphene filter could filter out unused antibiotics so stopping them getting in the water course.

A jug can also be used to dispose of antibiotics. Team 2017 would like to look into filters been fitted in the sinks in these places. The idea of also placing a filter in the outlet pipes from hospitals to prevent antibiotics been washed away.

The Canterbury Academy Team 2017 achieved second prize also means that they will be given the opportunity to spend a day of further research at Pfizer's laboratories and work with researchers and scientists to improve their design

If you are interested in the KM Bright Spark Awards to find out more information please visit: