Student Experiences

I am a senior at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie, NY where I am part of our school's three-year Science Research course. In my junior year, I conducted environmental research in the Silk Lab at Tufts University, testing the plant Lunaria’s reflective and insulative properties to slow the melting of ice. Throughout high school, Alex and I competed in the Science Olympiad event Water Quality where we placed first in Regionals. I have swum competitively and played violin for 12 years. This fall I will be attending the Honors Program at Northeastern with a combined major in Environmental Engineering and Health Science. 

We are students of “Taller de Ciencias” (Science Club) at the high school “Altos del Mackay” in Coyhaique city, a public school that provide education to students that come from rural areas of our región. Our guide teacher is Luis López Saravia, for 3 years we have been developing science and technology initiatives, to provide solutions to the problems of our community.

Meghan is driven to protect nature through research and innovation. She serves on the Maker Faire CT Organizing Committee and co-captains Barlow’s Sikorsky aeronautical engineering team. She has volunteered 175+ hours at the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium and is a PADI Rescue Diver trained in reef restoration. Meghan has researched mucus’s ability to trap micro pollutants for applications in coral conservation and developed 3D-printable coral nursery structures. Meghan was nominated a 2020 “Women of Innovation” finalist by the CT Technology Council and honored with 1st place in the 2020 Xylem Ignite Hackathon. She enjoys playing Varsity Tennis and studying classical music on the piano and pipe organ. She is currently a senior attending Joel Barlow High School. Meghan intends to pursue biomedical engineering and computer science studies at UC Santa Barbara.

Surya Tallavarjula is a rising senior at Wilcox high school in Santa Clara. Surya is fascinated by wind force especially how tornadoes gather force and the destructive power they can generate. Purifying water has interested Surya ever since he became a boy scout. Surya earned his Eagle rank in 2021. Surya enjoys computer science and steps of logic to create code to achieve interesting tasks. Surya is interested in physics-based concepts and abstract thinking and would like to combine both science and advanced programming skills to solve important problems. Surya plays the piano and the electric guitar and enjoys baseball and tennis. 

My name is Alexander Zhu, and I am a senior at Spackenkill High School. I am currently a part of the Science Research program at Spackenkill in which students complete a research paper by the end of high school. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic this past year, I worked remotely with Xylem in the development of a water awareness video game instead. As I continue onto college next year, I am pursuing a major in chemistry, and I seek to continue expanding my knowledge of programming and raise awareness about water conservation on my college campus. Ultimately, I hope to pursue a career in intellectual property law and to become an active participant in conservation efforts.



Hello! We are Low Jeen Liang, Kinsey Yiu and Tan Wei An from Singapore. We are participants in the Xylem Ignite program and were finalists in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020. Currently, we’re studying at Hwa Chong Institution. It’s been a great honour to work together with our Xylem Ignite mentors, Dr Luo and Mr Scheideler, on our project investigating the eradication of multidrug resistant biofilms in hospital pipelines. If you are passionate about water research and technology, as well as hope to enrich your skills and experience by working with proactive industrial mentors, join Xylem Ignite!

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