2016-2017 Projects

1. How Do the Massanutten Ski Slopes and Golf Courses Impact Local Waterways? Massanutten Regional Governor’s School

Introduction: Throughout my life I have lived on Massanutten Resort, and I often have pondered how resort activities impact the local streams and ponds on the mountain. Runoff from ski slopes and golf courses prompted me to think of this possible issue and those activities will probably have the biggest effects on water quality in this community. Massanutten is home to a variety of wildlife and these animals drink from these water sources, so it is important to have healthy water for species to consume. Plus, the pond used for snowmaking has multiple types of fish. The water quality is not only important for animals and fish, but people as well. Some people catch these fish for food and poor water quality could cause problems for individuals consuming the fish. Additionally, any runoff in this district will end in the Chesapeake Bay, so it is critical to minimize hazards. The purpose of this study will be to determine and monitor water quality of Massanutten surface water.

2. Preventative Agricultural Measures against Algal Toxicity within the Shenandoah Valley  Massanutten Regional Governor’s School

Introduction: Algal blooms pose a problem to both environmental and public health, not to mention the fact that algae is bad for the aesthetic of the water. In an area like Shenandoah, where agriculture is plentiful, it is that much more necessary to examine algae and create preventative measures against it. In order to prevent these issues to people utilizing the water, the researchers plan to examine the correlation between climatic patterns and agricultural practices, in order to create preventative measures that can be used by farmers.

3. Creating a simplified hydroponics system to grow plants in areas with limited space,such as urban apartments. Massanutten Regional Governor’s School

Introduction: How can a hydroponics system be simplified so as to only require cheap materials and minimal space and maintenance? I am interested in designing and building new systems for growing plants, and I believe that urban areas with limited space need new growing systems the most.

4. Developing Affordable and Sustainable Point-of-use Water Filters             Massanutten Regional Governor’s School

Introduction: The United Nations has identified accessibility to clean water as one of the organization’s Sustainable Development Goals, a number of goals for overall improvement of global quality of life, the environment, and human health (2016, Goal 6 Targets section). It is clear that new technologies and water purification methods need to be developed in order to increase clean water availability in rural or underdeveloped regions. Point-of-use water filters could allow families and individuals in these regions to use the water available to them and purify it to ensure its safety. Point-of-use water filters which operate in a timely manner already exist, but the materials which are currently in use prohibits their development and widespread use in the rural and underdeveloped regions which most need them. As such, in order to address the health issue of a lack of global access to clean water, a point-of-use water filter must be developed in such a way that it works efficiently, can be constructed in underdeveloped regions of the world, can be produced in an extremely cheap manner, and sustainably uses materials. Employing novel techniques and using sustainable and cheap material, it is possible to develop a point-of-use water filter which can be produced, distributed, and reliably used for effective water filtration and purification in rural and underdeveloped regions.