BOSTON, MA, Aug. 26, 2014 -- The White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded a 16-year old student from Nashua N.H., with a "President's Environmental Youth Award" (PEYA) for her innovative green and sustainable method to purify water.
Deepika Kurup developed the winning project, which is a light-weight photocatalytic composite that harnesses solar energy for water purification. Her project also increased the awareness of children and the general public in her community of how clean and safe water is an indispensable natural resource.
Kurup developed a simple, fast and cost-effective methodology where a composite degrades organics in water and rapidly inactivates bacteria in sunlight, visible light or in the dark. Her project also developed several different prototypes for real-world applications. She has filed a patent and plans to deploy her invention in places around the world that are affected by water pollution.
"I have been passionate about solving the global water crisis since I was in elementary school, as I was exposed to the water problem at a very early age," said Kurup. "I believe that environmental education is very important, and I am very honored to be the EPA Region 1 recipient of the 2014 President's Environmental Youth Award."
The PEYA program recognizes outstanding student leaders in environmental stewardship. In a ceremony at the White House, 60 students from nine states across the nation were honored for their contributions to environmental stewardship. At the same ceremony, 17 teachers were also recognized for outstanding efforts to implement environmental education in their schools and communities.