Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner Harnesses Rainwater

The 2009 Stockholm Junior Water Prize, sponsored globally by ITT Corporation, was awarded to 18-year-old Ceren Burçak Dag, of Nisantasi, Turkey, for her research on harnessing rainwater to produce electricity.

In her research, Dag demonstrated that by using PVDF, a smart material with piezoelectric properties, the kinetic energy of raindrops could be transferred into electrical energy.

Dag received a $5,000 award and an expense-paid trip to Orlando, Fla., in October to present her findings at the World Environment Federation annual conference, the largest water quality and technology event in North America.

The jury also awarded Diplomas of Excellence to Emily Elhacham of Israel for her project on water contamination and Mary Zhao of Canada for her project on precipitation.

"I am so proud of Ceren Burçak Dag and the thousands of students from across the world who participated in this competition," said Gretchen McClain, president of the commercial business unit of ITT. "These projects underscore the importance of involving the next generation in scientific research and taking action to find solutions to today’s water and energy challenges."

Dag explained her hopes for her research by saying, "[With this project] we have a new energy source from rain. I hope that my work will contribute to the development of the next generation of energy panels where rain, sun and wind are combined."

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is presented each year to high-school age students for outstanding water-related projects that focus on topics of environmental, scientific, social or technological importance. Winners of 29 national competitions competed for the international honor, which was awarded by an international jury of water professionals and scientists. The prize is administered by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

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