Henrico student’s passion could save water (and win her 25K)

Positively Richmond

7th grader wants to develop a water leakage detection system in order to reduce water loss

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Henrico teen’s passion for water conservation led her to an idea for an invention that will help the cause. Her invention made such an impression that she was named a finalist for a national science competition.

Camellia Sharma was selected as one of the ten finalists in the 3M Young Scientist Challenge after she submitted a short video explaining her passion for conservation.

“I did not think I was going to become a finalist,” Sharma told 8News, “but here I am. I am a finalist.”

The competition recognizes students like 13-year-old Sharma, who use their scientific thinking to create an invention that will improve their communities. Sharma, a George H. Moody seventh-grader, said she wants to develop a water leakage detection system in order to reduce water loss.

“So much water gets lost in the water system due to small and minor leaks,” Sharma told 8News.

Sharma used plastic pipes around the perimeter of her pool, along with handmade circuits and a generator, to pinpoint leakage areas. She told 8News that over 48 billion cubic meters of water is lost every year and that her invention would cut that number.

“I found there wasn’t much attention to our old and new watering systems,” Sharma said, “so I decided to work with that.”

The next step for Sharma is turning her concept into reality. This October she will compete with the other finalists in Minneapolis for a chance at $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

“I am really excited about going!” Sharma told 8News.

Sharma, who has already won $1000 for being named a finalist, said she is planning to donate all the cash awards to STEM education. Her brother competed last year and donated his winnings too.

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