Middle School Students Take Top Honors for Water Tower Creations

Norfolk Collegiate took home first, second and third place out of 11 participating teams at the 4th Annual Virginia Chapter American Water Works Association Water Tower Competition on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Old Dominion University (ODU).

The challenge was to build an aesthetically pleasing, structurally efficient model water tower that held water and could be filled and drained quickly. The objective was to make participants aware of the importance of reliable drinking water and the rewarding opportunities available in the water profession.

Students in the Design Thinking class strategized, worked and reworked their structurally integral, lightweight water towers over several weeks. The judges — water works professionals and engineering students at ODU — wanted to hear each team’s trials and tribulations during the design process.

In the end, Collegiate teams swept the competition:

  • Sixth-grade team, the Goats, took first place

  • Seventh-grade’s Couldn't Choose a Name took second, and

  • Sixth graders, the Acorns, took third place

The winners received recognition in the Best ReUse of Materials category and sixth graders on team Squids also won best structural integrity. First place team members received a $75 gift card while second place team members received a $50 gift card and third place team members received a $25 gift card.

“The judges went out of their way to express how polite, caring and delightfully the Collegiate students behaved,” says middle school science teacher Claire Fornsel.

Congratulations to each team who participated, listed below:


Seventh-Grade Team: Couldn't Choose a Name

Joseph Duffy

Morgan McLaughlin

Drake Rodden

Nolan Russell


Seventh-Grade Team: The Winners

Sarah Morrow

Logan Pausch

Pierce Wynne


Sixth-Grade Team: The Squids

Flynn Dalton

Tony Kremenchugskiy

Zack McDonough

Mitchell Snyder


Sixth-Grade Team: The Acorns

Sarah Bartlett

Caroline Campbell

Julia Carlsmith

Kenna O'Brien


Sixth-Grade Team: The Goats

Justin Burrough

Blaike Hill

Myles Johnson

Adam Siebert