Fern Ridge Middle School; Veneta, Ore.
Team Members: Cooper Barnes, Micah Cornelius, Rebecca Nohrenberg and Scottie Barnes (Team Advisor)
“TrutH2O” aimed to raise awareness of the health, environmental and financial impacts of plastic water bottles. First, the team tested the widely known urban legend that leaving a plastic water bottle in the sun will cause harmful petrochemicals to leach into the water. The students then researched the point of origin for 14 brands of water and determined that the total shipping miles for all bottles sold in their local market were more than 40 million. Next, the team compared the price of its town water, 0.3 cents per gallon, to the average price of the water bottles sold at the local market at $8 a gallon. Finally, they presented their findings to a study group and conducted before and after surveys. The team hopes that such educational outreach would reduce the use, as well as the health, environmental and financial impacts of plastic water bottles.