Eva Pack

Lux Agua




Sol Agua

Aqua Mantica

1st Annual H20 Challenge


To design, develop, test, and refine a prototype water-production system that meets the following constraints. The system must:

  1. provide water that meets relevant water quality standards
  2. use commonly-available materials or appropriate freight costs must be included
  3. be easily assembled
  4. provide water at low cost/volume (inclusive of material and freight)
  5. be self-contained with no external source of power
  6. be robust (considering damage from use, weather, etc).
  7. fit within a FedEx 25-kg box when dissembled
  8. cost less than 250 USD


The long-term goal of this AP Physics projects is to provide a solution for at least a million people that are without access to clean water within the next 5 years.  Each year, we will attempt to improve upon previous years’ successes and rectify deficiencies.  We will initially focus on people living in Oceania which has one of the lowest rates of water availability, despite being surrounded by the ocean

Future Constraints:

  1. The system should provide a minimum of 50 L/day of drinkable water
  2. The system should have an annual net cost of less than 3% of the mean annual income in Oceania


Project Stages:

Stage 1: Teams of two must be established and communicated by Monday, September 14, 2015. These teams are to develop a virtual prototype and a 1-page (8.5×11, black and white, front-side only) memo laying out how to address the objective of the competition.

Stage 2: Stage 2 teams will be upgraded to ~5 members including the team of two that won the Stage 1 vote. Stage 2 teams must refine the winning virtual prototype and develop and updated prototype. A 5-7 minute presentation must then be prepared addressing elegance, feasibility, robustness, cost, and form.

Stage 3: Stage 3 teams will have ~13 members each, including the winning Stage 2 team. Stage 3 teams must prepare to give a pitch to a large group including a VC panel of experts pulled from the school and community. The presentation should be 8 minutes long with 10 minutes for questioning. The VC panel, other AP students, and general audience will then vote to determine the best design. The top designs with receive their requested budget.

Stage 4: The winning teams will absorb all other teams, and must break into roles and build the devices. The devices must be produced by April 11, 2016.

  • devices must be packaged in a regulation shipping box with:
    • all necessary components
    • instructions (without words) including a link to a YouTube video as well as an ‘instructables’ website showing assembly, operation, and maintenance of the device
  • two identical prototypes must be produced. One will be tested at SHS, one will be tested by a group of unskilled people (elementary school students)
  • water produced must be checked for compliance with previously-cited regulations
  • the final net cost/volume ratio must be established
  • a final presentation will be given to the School Board and other community members in May