WILTON, Conn. -- Wilton-area student Anika Bhagavatula was honored as a finalist for her project, "Banana Peels – Second Life as a Water Purifier," at the 68th annual Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair at Quinnipiac University on March 19.
The Special Award categories of Alternative/Renewable Energy for middle and high school students was sponsored by eesmarts, an Energize Connecticut program administered by Eversource and the United Illuminating Company; Future Sustainability for high school students; and Sustainable Resources and Practices for middle school students.
Bhagavatula's project was awarded first place in the Middle School Sustainable Resources and Practices category. She investigated an alternative purification method with ‘biosorption’ using inexpensive, readily available biomass - banana peels.
She formulated and tested copper-contaminated water and fertilizer-contaminated water to see whether banana peels are capable of removing heavy metals and fertilizers, which she proved to be extremely effective. Bhagavatula received $500 and a trophy for her achievement in the category.
The Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair is open to students in grades 7 through 12 across the state, who compete for more than 600 spots each year. The objective of the fair is to attract young people to careers in the science and engineering industry, while also developing their critical thinking skills.
The fair is supported by several academic and industrial organizations throughout the state, with funds directed to the awards, operations and various educational activities.
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the state, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills.
Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 1-877-WISEUSE (1-877-947-3873).