New­ton High stu­dents seek to aid Third World coun­tries

The Covington News - - The Second Front - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­

Sum­mer is typ­i­cally when stu­dents take a break from their stud­ies, but some in New­ton County’s 21st Cen­tury Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ters pro­gram are at work re­search­ing and de­vel­op­ing a wa­ter fil­tra­tion de­vice to be used in other coun­tries.

New­ton High School epi­demi­ol­ogy teacher Ev­ern Wil­liams said his stu­dents in the pro­gram have been study­ing wa­ter­borne ill­nesses and re­search­ing ways to elim­i­nate them. One so­lu­tion they’ve found in­volves us­ing wa­ter fil­tra­tion de­vices to clean wa­ter for drink­ing.

Stu­dents cre­ated their de­vices through trial and er­ror af­ter re­search­ing dif­fer­ent fil­tra­tion sys­tems de­vel­oped by col­lege stu­dents. The stu­dents’ sys­tems have sev­eral lay­ers of fil­ters made with rocks, peb­bles, and char­coal, all nat­u­ral fil­ters.

“It’s a slow process, but it does re­duce the num­ber of micro­organ­isms and the ar­senic lev­els,” Wil­liams said.

The NHS stu­dents’ de­vices will be sent to The Clin­ton Global Ini­tia­tive, a pro­gram de­vel­oped in 2005 by for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton to seek in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to press­ing world prob­lems. Wil­liams said CGI will then send the de­vices to Third World coun­tries to show peo­ple how to fil­ter their own wa­ter us­ing nat­u­ral re­sources around them.

“A lot of ill­nesses come be­cause they are not drink­ing a lot of healthy wa­ter,” Wil­liams said.

New­ton High School is one of sev­eral 21st Cen­tury Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ters in New­ton County. The county’s school sys­tem re­ceived a grant that pro­vides fed­eral funds to es­tab­lish or ex­pand com­mu­nity learn­ing cen­ters that op­er­ate dur­ing out-of-school hours.

Stu­dents in the pro­gram par­tic­i­pate in aca­demic en­rich­ment and tu­to­rial ser­vices. The pro­gram is for stu­dents who need af­ter-school ser­vices or re­me­di­a­tion.

NHS guid­ance coun­selor Francene Break­field said in ad­di­tion to stud­ies in Wil­liams’ class, stu­dents in the CCLC pro­gram have also par­tic­i­pated in art classes (where they made dream boards de­pict­ing their fu­ture goals), stud­ied gar­den­ing and at­tended lec­tures and other classes.

Danielle Ever­son /The Cov­ing­ton News

New­ton High School stu­dents Tashera Ca­ma­cho, Ja­colby Wil­liams, Cameron Alexan­der and Latazameshia Jones show off wa­ter fil­tra­tion de­vices and dream boards, which were made dur­ing the 21st Cen­tury Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ters pro­gram.

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