Team:Gaston Day School

Gaston Day School

A high school aiming to solve environmental issues with knowledge and creativity.


North Carolina depends on a combination of coal and nuclear power plants for energy production. In recent years, multiple coal ash spills have resulted in the contamination of water with heavy metals. Thermal pollution is a constant issue with both coal and nuclear power generation. Our goal is to improve the quality of North Carolina waterways through increasing awareness of pollution in real-time, protecting humans and aquatic life from toxic heavy metals and rising water temperatures. We will create a solar-powered floating device that will send a signal when it detects a water pollutant. We will use a temperature-sensitive green fluorescent protein to detect changes in water temperature. Cadmium, arsenic, and lead will be detected using metal-sensitive promoters combined with red, blue, or green pigments. When a change in color or fluorescent intensity is detected, the device will send a signal to an app, alerting riverkeepers and local residents.