Alison Bick of New Jersey, who developed a low-cost portable method to test water quality using a mobile phone, was awarded the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize in August.
The international winner receives a $5,000 award and a prize sculpture. The Stockholm International Water Institute administers the competition, which is sponsored globally by ITT Corporation.
Bick worked for four years on her project, which combines micro-fluidic devices, cell-phones, and chemical indicators to evaluate water quality. While her innovative method does not only accurately assess the bacteria content of water, it is both significantly faster and up to 200 times less expensive than standard testing procedures.
The international Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition brings together thousands of participants in over 28 countries. The representatives at the international final held during the World Water Week in Stockholm are the winners of national competitions that fielded over 9000 submitted projects this past year.
“This year’s winning project reflects truly out of the box thinking to find a solution to an important real world problem that is relevant in both a developing and developed country context,” said the International Jury in its citation.