Three students from King William’s College have their sights set on winning a place in the finals of the Conrad Challenge at the Kennedy Space Center in April.
The annual competition was founded by late Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad and his wife, Nancy, and is open to students aged 13-18, who can enter one of four categories – Aerospace & Aviation, Cyber-Technology & Security, Energy & Environment, and Health & Nutrition.
The ManSat Group sponsors Isle of Man teams each year by covering their entry fees to the Conrad Challenge, along with travel costs, should a team reach the final.
The KWC team of Luca Ongyerth, Nikolay Fomin, and Polly Glynn are all in Lower Sixth (Year 12) and have developed a renewable water filtering system. Their project has been chosen as one of 92 from around the world in the Energy & Environment category to reach this stage, with the top five to receive a place at April’s Spirit of Innovation summit at the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex.
Nikolay, the team’s CEO, explained: “Our company Renewable Water Filters hopes to provide a solution to a worldwide problem. The compact, upgradeable design provides clean drinking water using a cheap, recyclable filtration system.
“We wanted to find a way to help people in less economically developed countries and natural disaster zones have better access to clean drinking water. We also think that it will appeal to people with hobbies such as camping, hiking and travelling.”
Niall Howell Evans, Head of Science at KWC, said: “The Conrad Challenge is a fantastic competition which encourages students to think not only about how science and technology can be used to solve problems, but to be entrepreneurs. I’d like to thank ManSat for its continued sponsorship of this award and the United Space School scholarship, both of which provide incredible opportunities for young people studying on the Isle of Man.”
Jennifer Stone, Chief Technical Officer at the ManSat Group, said: “The Conrad competition challenges students to create innovative products and solutions, providing young entrepreneurs with the opportunity to apply their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills to develop the products of tomorrow. Luca, Nikolay and Polly have developed a strong concept and have already done very well to reach this stage of the competition. We wish them all the best in their bid to reach the summit in April.”