Maryland 2024

Springbrook High School

Silver Spring, MD

PROJECT TITLE Linking communities to sustainable agriculture in their own backyard through organic fertilizers and real-time readings

PROJECT GOAL: According to Feeding America 2023, 44 millions Americans face food-insecurity due to environmental and economical issues. With 70% of low-income communities living in nature-deprived areas (American Progress, 2020) and 17.1 million Americans living in food deserts, where grocery stores are 1-20 miles away from the working class (USA, 2022), access to produce is nearly impossible for low-income communities. targets the disproportionate impact of food insecurity and environmental degradation by fulfulling the U.N.’s 2nd Sustainable Goal of zero hunger. We chose this inequity because we believe everyone deserves to have access to sustainable, organic produce. is an affordable, portable, and user-friendly solution that leverages real-time environmental data on temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and NPK (nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus) values in crop environments. With machine learning, provides tailored organic alternatives to harmful synthetic fertilizers, promoting sustainable and equitable agriculture practices for low-income communities. Here are the specific ways works to remove barriers for its users: 1) Convenient and long-lasting:’s website reports organic fertilizers that best remediate the plant’s health. Because our fertilizer recommendations are non- synthetic, they only require a one-time application, elevate biodiversity, and maintain long-term soil fertility; 2) Informative and Inclusive: informs users on how to get started on growing their own fresh produce, regardless of space or cost constraints with clear instructions on how to institute one’s own compost and maintain a sustainable garden. In consideration of our community’s large demographic of Spanish Speakers, we included a Spanish version of 3) Affordability: Our non-synthetic fertilizer options are low-cost, efficient, and easily accessible. implements a guide on how to reduce the cost of gardening.

Amber L., Melat G., and Saron S.popup

TEAM MEMBERS: Amber L., Melat G., and Saron S.



Greenbelt Middle School

Greenbelt, MD

Sewer Sanitation Scenario: Cleaning the Sewers by Separating Waste from Water

PROJECT GOAL: Access to clean water is a worldwide issue acknowledged by the United Nations (UN). UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, Target 6.1; aims to ensure sustainable water, sanitation management, and achieve universal access to safe, affordable drinking water by 2030. In this context, Baltimore city faces daily obstacles accessing clean water. This resorts in people buying gallons or boiling tap water, often coming out gray due to sewage contamination, caused by pollutants such as microplastics and metals (Rappleye et al., 2023). Additionally, sanitary sewage overflows (SSOs) are caused when sewers are clogged with waste which leads to water contamination.

Our prototype (version 4) is designed to separate solid waste from waste water through a continuous sewage management cycle. The 5-step process considers: 1) Used, contaminated water goes through the funnel at the top and into the pipe. 2) Solid waste gets stuck on a strainer in the pipe, while the water goes through it. 3) Solid waste is detected by an infrared sensor, triggering a 9G servo motor which opens a door. 4) Water runs through a filter to be cleaned of pollutants. 5) Waste released down the chute into the bin. Our prototype used a repurposed soda bottle, DIY filter, repurposed bin, funnel, garbage bin toy, bowl, strainer, tape, hot glue, and acrylic. The electronics consisted of an Arduino Uno R3, a breadboard, a battery pack, an infrared sensor, and a 9G servo motor. Based on comments and feedback from experts in sewage management, filter design, and prototype development, we believe that our sewage management solution represents a scalable and efficient system for Baltimore and for cities across the country. Our proposed solution prevents sewage blockages and overflows, ensures access to quality water, and improves the management of solid and liquid sewage components.

Leonel R., Alexander R., Nicolas R., and Andres C.popup

TEAM MEMBERS: Leonel R., Alexander R., Nicolas R., and Andres C.



Dwight Carr, Maryland 2024 MESA Director | Kelli Llano, Rules Committee | State Website

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