Maryland 2021

Northern High School

Owings, Maryland

Automatic Solar Powered water Filter (A.S.P.F.)

PROJECT GOAL: The ultimate purpose of the A.S.P.F. is to reduce global inequity by decreasing the prevalence of waterborne diseases in developing countries. By providing people in areas affected by clean water scarcity the means to reliably source their own filtered drinking water, we intend to empower them to take the prevention of waterborne diseases into their own hands.

The development of the Automatic Solar Powered Water Filter (A.S.P.F.) began with research into a global issue of inequity: access to clean drinking water. In our research, we found that waterborne neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) were most prevalent amongst low-income communities in developing countries with hot climates, so this group became our target clientele. We set out to design a solution that would adequately accommodate the target clientele’s needs, namely ease of transport, low cost, durability, and simplicity. The A.S.P.F. is intended to be assembled and maintained by the target clientele once delivered to the target areas. The future of the A.S.P.F. is certainly a bright one, as it holds the potential to uplift developing communities by providing them with the same access to clean water we enjoy every day. With a little more development, the A.S.P.F. is well on its way to tackling one of the world’s most pressing sources of inequity.

Mao Yu Cheng, Korbin Dick, Nate Careypopup

TEAM MEMBERS: Mao Yu Cheng, Korbin Dick, Nate Carey

TEAM ADVISOR(S): Theresa Jackson, Mickey Norfolk


TechnoLogick Middle School

Ellicott City, Maryland

3rd Overall

Breaking Down Barrier - Diversifying Clinical Trials

PROJECT GOAL: The major goal of our project is to develop an effective communication and outreach method to create awareness about the importance of participation in clinical trials among underrepresented populations.

NEDC’s theme for this year is Designing for Equity. The goal of the challenge is to identify an individual or group that experienced inequity and create a solution using a microprocessor. We decided to focus on the lack of diversity in clinical trials as it was highlighted recently in news articles. Previous studies indicated that minorities had a long history of mistrust with the medical community, and lack of resources and education. To help increase the recruitment of the underserved population, we conducted user interviews and surveys and identified that there should be an effective communication method. Hence, we decided to display the information about clinical trials in community gatherings, hair salons, grocery stores, etc. To accomplish this, we created a platform, “Clinical Trial Locator” (CTL). The key components of the CTL platform are:

  1. Database that gathers information about local clinical trials from the website
  2. LED light to get users’ attention
  3. Arduino microprocessor connected to an LCD display.

The interviews and survey we conducted demonstrated that this is an effective way to communicate important information about clinical trials. In the future, we are planning on automating the data collection, publish the database as an app in the app store, incorporate QR codes in the display, and make the information available in different languages.

Ananya Vijay, Pranav Boreddy, Aditi Kashyappopup

TEAM MEMBERS: Ananya Vijay, Pranav Boreddy, Aditi Kashyap

TEAM ADVISOR(S): Subhashini Jagu, Saraswathi Ramanna


Dwight Carr, Maryland 2021 MESA Director | Jason Cartwright, Rules Committee | State Website

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