davenport west, inventeam, LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM, water filter, kenya

Davenport West students receive second MIT grant in three years

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- Davenport West High School students are getting help from MIT, to bring clean drinking water to people living thousands of miles away.

"We're going to help millions I feel and we're just in high school," said Jalissa Peiffer. Peiffer will take over as a project manager next semester. Students at West High School are trying to solve real world problems.

"The first month was a lot of structure building, getting everything ready, writing the grant, submitting," said Alexa Christiansen. Alexa wrote the grant that awarded West High with $10,000 from MIT. West is one of fifteen high schools nationwide to join the Inventeam at MIT.

"It's definitely really exciting to know that we have some people backing us up on this idea," said Danny Cao. Danny is the technical leader and is in charge of building the prototype.

Danny and other students are creating a water filter system for a small village in Kenya. Right now, they're testing water from West Lake, running it through buckets of rocks, sand and charcoal until the water comes out clean. They still have a long way to go.

"We've had the designs done. We've planned everything out. We've just been waiting on the funding to but the materials to actually build the prototype so that really backlogged us and slowed us down so having this money should actually speed us up", said Cao.

Their client, Joshua Ngao is originally from Kenya. In January, he will be bringing back water from his village for students to test. They hope to have the final prototype built by march.
This is west high school's second grant from MIT in three years.