ALEXANDRIA, VA, Feb. 2, 2010 -- The Haiti earthquake has spotlighted one of the world's most pressing problems - the global water shortage. This year, American high school students will get the opportunity to help solve the problem as the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) launches its 31st annual TEAMS competition for 2010.
Themed, "Water, Water Everywhere," the competition will show students firsthand how engineers in various disciplines, including environmental engineers, civil engineers, and mechanical engineers are involved in the protection and delivery of the world's water supply.
Some 10,000 ninth- to 12th-graders will gather for one-day over a four-week period from February 15 through March 16 at more than 100 host sites in 42 states, including 79 colleges and universities, and more than 30 high schools (listing at www.JETS.org). The students will then make real-world connections between math and science to engineering by solving actual engineering scenarios.
This year, students will learn that, according to the World Health Organization, nearly one billion people to do not have access to clean, drinkable water, despite the fact that water covers 75 percent of the Earth's surface. They will be challenged to:
-- assess the effectiveness of ceramic pot filters developed by geological, environmental and ceramic engineers in disinfecting water;
-- analyze and create processes, known as desalination, that remove salt and other impurities from otherwise undrinkable water sources;
-- design technologies that deal with the detrimental effects that land development projects have on communities' watersheds
"Students may ask: 'What do engineers and water have in common?' By participating in this year's TEAMS competition, they'll find out that, besides drinking it, cleaning with it and feeding their plants with it, engineers play an increasingly important role in safeguarding the world's most vital resource," said Peter Carrato, Bechtel Corporation Fellow and President of the Board of Directors of JETS.
Between February 15 and March 16, JETS will announce "Best in State" awards for student teams in the participating 42 states.
The two highest ranking level teams in the country will take top honors as the "Best Overall" and will be announced in early April 2010. They will receive $2,500 for their schools. In addition, the Walt Disney World Resort will award the top ranking 11/12 level team a three-night stay at Walt Disney World, including Park Hopper Tickets, and the opportunity to take part in one Disney Youth Education Series program of their choice.
JETS is a national non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting engineering and technology careers to our nation's young people. As a prominent force at the secondary school level, JETS engages students in various engineering education programs that are an essential part of fostering the engineering profession. Students in JETS programs are presented the opportunities to: understand how engineers make a difference in our world (Explore); see how their own talents and skills align to engineering majors and occupations (Assess); and participate in exciting real-world based competitions and activities (Experience). JETS programs touch more than 40,000 students and 10,000 educators from 6,000 high schools across the country every year. JETS participants are a diverse group - more than 50 percent are from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in engineering and technology fields, including one-third who are female.
For more information, please visit, www.JETS.org.