OAKLAND PARK, Fla. - President Barack Obama honored two South Florida high school students who designed a bicycle-powered, emergency water-sanitation station that filters E. coli and other harmful pathogens from contaminated water.
Obama honored Payton Kaar and Kiona Elliot of Northeast High School on Monday as part of the 2013 White House Science Fair.
The pair designed a device that can be assembled and disassembled within an hour and can produce enough water for up to 30 people during a 15 hour period. They received a 2012 InvenTeam grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program, which supported their development of the innovative design.
A classmate's trip to Haiti inspired the project.
"Right now, I am so jacked because I can't believe that our children are witnessing the president ride their invention," said Northeast High School Principal Jonathan Williams. "This is a working-class area and it goes to show you that you don't necessarily have to be affluent to achieve great things."
Kaar is a Leonore Annenberg Scholarship winner and Elliot is a Bezos Scholar and will be the first in her family to attend college when she enrolls in the fall.
Students from St. Thomas the Apostle in Miami also showed their future city to the president during the science fair.
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