Can teens from Columbia County come up with the solution to sustainable energy?

Tuesday, July 09, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Some local students will be representing the United States next week in a competition in Hong Kong.

The goal is to come up with something that runs on sustainable energy.

Two teams with two problems, and two solutions on how to make the world a better place.

“Being able to think that I can help out as a child with all these big major problems,” said one child.

It started with a water-powered rocket. The kids won first place at the Augusta University Mind-Frame Competition. After that, they got invited to Hong Kong to represent Team USA in a worldwide STEM competition. The theme? Smart city.

“I’m so excited to watch them go over there and compete and show what they’re made of,” said Greenbrier Middle School math teacher Chrissy Hattaway.

The goal is to create something that’s good for the environment. Two projects in consideration include one that uses water to power a home and another that uses magnets to power a car.

"It uses magnets of the same pole to propel each other and then a fan,” said one child.

"We knew we wanted to do something with water since this is China's monsoon season,” said another child. “There's rainwater, a lot of it, but a lot of the time it's under-used."

The teachers credit all of this to STEM-based learning.

"For me it's all about challenging them, giving them real problems to solve, and the ultimate goal is to grow the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers,” said David Phillips, a Greenbrier Middle School science teacher.

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