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AQUALIBRIUM: SAICE-TCTA Schools Water Comp September 03, 2011  
AQUALIBRIUM, the SAICE-TCTA Schools Water Competition 2011  

Aqualibrium water table

The finals of the competition for 2011 will be held at:
Venue: Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Miriam Makeba Street, Newtown, Johannesburg
Date: Friday, 29 July 2011
Time: 09:30

Aqualibrium rules
Aqualibrium entry form
Aqualibrium regional indemnity form
Aqualibrium judges sheet

Winners of the regional competitions come to Johannesburg from as far as Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Buffalo City (East London), Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth), Middelburg in Mpumulanga, to battle the local winners for top honours. Learners are flown to Johannesburg and accommodated in a good hotel - an experience that these young people and some of the educators will never forget! For most this is a first experience of the ‘big city’. Without the generous sponsorship of TCTA, a new word for water, this event would of course, not be possible.

The 2010 champions with a new record of only 29 penalty points conceded were from the Port Rex Technical High School in East London. The team members were Jacques Schoenknecht, Quinton Simpson and Corne Maritz. In the second place was Navalsig High School/ Hoërskool from Bloemfontein with only 50 penalty points. The team members were Vuzumsi Nokha, Cheryl Moreme and Vuyo Hlubi. In the third spot was Brackenfell High School with 80 penalty points achieved by Willie van der Merwe, Simon de Waal and Michael Thomas. Thus a very closely contested competition! They shared the prize-money of close on R20 000-00.

As a direct result of this competition there are presently four students studying civil engineering. These young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are determined to go MAD, i.e. Make A Difference in their communities. We just have to continue with these kinds of projects in order to make a difference to the scarce skills situation and the lives of many people!

Both the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) and Rand Water celebrated a hundred years of existence in 2003 and as part of their centenary celebrations they launched this joint competition for high school learners devised by Professor Kobus van Zyl and students from the University of Johannesburg. Since then the competition had been streamlined and has gained momentum in application, such as team building and demonstrations on ‘technovation’ days!

Water distribution networks
Water distribution systems are important to supply safe and clean drinking water to people. The teams are tasked to design a model water distribution network to distribute three litres of water equally between three points on the grid using two different diameter pipes and connection pieces. They are then judged on how well they execute the task – working on a penalty points system. They have a period of about an hour in which to design, build and operate their network. This competition exposes learners to the practical application of processes that influence their daily lives, which is how water gets to their homes. They are made aware of the intricacies involved in the design of water distribution networks and the actual water delivery to households.

As part of the competition the water cycle is explained to the learners. Issues such as why we have to pay for water, explaining the building of dams, distribution of water through water boards to municipalities and then to users, as well as the conservation of our water resources are discussed.

The grid used for the water distribution network is on a background that depicts the entire water cycle. It intrigues learners, as well as educators, who find it a very helpful educational tool.

The competition creates awareness regarding the issues surrounding water in South Africa. It spreads the message that water is a precious commodity, the use of which should be reduced, recycled, re-used, respected and conserved. Through this competition SAICE and TCTA, the current major sponsor, took the responsibility of spreading the news that water should be used wisely, that infrastructure should be maintained and that new infrastructure should be created to provide potable water to those without water. The Water Research Commission is also on board as a sponsor.

This competition strengthens government’s initiatives aimed at encouraging learners to take Mathematics and Science at school and to follow a career as a science or civil engineering professional. Only in this way can we assure that the quality of life of all South Africans will be better in future!

For enquiries and to become part of this very exciting competition, please contact
Marie Ashpole
Tel: 011 805 5947
Fax: 011 805 5971
Cell: 082 870 9229
E-mail: [email protected]


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