AQUACYCLE My Autobiography: left amazed by junior high school students in Greece


University academics from the Centre of Research and Technology, Hellas (CERTH), and Junior high school teachers in Greece, were left amazed at how teenage students took to my eco-innovative wastewater treatment system design.

My Project Manager introducing my components
Photo credit: Angeliki Fotiadou, CERTH


In a school visit to the Gymnasium - High School of Nikiforos in Drama, Greece, my Project Manager, Dr. Konstantinos Plakas, started off by explaining about each of the various components that make up my design. It came as no surprise to me that for this very purpose, he had brought along the 3D model of my prototype design which he had given as an early Christmas present to me last year.






I must admit that I started getting increasingly apprehensive by his going into every tiniest detail of my design. As his presentation was laden with notions of physics, chemistry and also mathematics that went into my design, I could not help but think that he forgot that on this occasion he was not exactly talking to his more usual audience of post-graduate university researchers! In truth, I simply could not fathom how he expected to instil the active interest of teenagers in the highly complex and even inter-disciplinary concepts and methodologies he was presenting to them.

Hence, to my relief, his presentation was followed by a treasure-hunt styled activity. Divided into smaller groups, the junior high school students were invited to visit thematic stations, each of which was tied to a uniquely specific component of my design. Manned by academic researchers from CERTH, at each station they were asked complementary sets of questions which delved into aspects such as the energy efficiency or other relevant characteristics of a given component of mine. Obviously, I was all ears at the station where they were asked not only in which countries my creators were based, but also in which countries I was being expected to make a physical appearance in the nearest future.

Piecing together my components
Photo credit: Angeliki Fotiadou, CERTH

Returning to the class room where the event had started, the research team at CERTH had another surprise in store for the teenagers.  During a final session, the teams in which they had been divided, were asked to piece together a puzzle with the image of my eco-innovative wastewater treatment system. A loud cheer of celebration was made by the team that managed to complete the task first, though I can proudly say that all teams succeeded in this final assignment with astonishing speed.









The performance of the junior high school students in answering with ease to each of the thematic subjects that had just moments ago been introduced to them, their impeccable memory of even the tiniest details of my design, as well as their knowledge on matters such as the water and energy saving targets set by the European Union, had left all of the adults who assisted in the accomplishment of this event with a sense of admiration and astonishment of what teenagers are capable of achieving once their interest is stimulated.

I too was astounded that the information had found its way into teenage school children’s hearts and minds. The broad smiles on their faces during the treasure hunt spoke volumes about their active interest on all matters pertaining to the importance of wastewater as a means to augment fresh water supplies, thereby safeguarding the livelihood of rural communities and the environmental benefits that can be gained through my design configuration.

The school teachers and the team of CERTH who had witnessed the entire event, remarked that the initiative had proved a highly attractive means to ensure that a new generation of environment and water saving researchers will be on its way.  I could not but heartily agree with this conclusion, the joy and laughter during the award ceremony were still ringing in my ears!

The selection of the Gymnasium - High School of Nikiforos in Drama, Greece, to conduct the exercise was no coincidence. The teachers at this public school have mounted various innovative installations over the years, which include, among other, a planetarium, a sun clock, as well as an Archimedes technology display.

The beautiful city of Drama

Moreover, the wider periphery of Drama, which includes mount Falakro, is a verdant area with abundant water sources and various beautiful lakes and water springs that harmonise perfectly into the built environment, and nowhere more so than in the beautiful city of Drama. Pictured are the old Herman Spierer tobacco warehouse and the springs of Agia Varvara in Drama.





Junior high school students at Anatolia American College, Thessaloniki, Greece
Photo credit: Virginia Arvaniti, STEM Administrative Assistant, Αnatolia College

Encouraged by the outcomes, the team at CERTH has already repeated the exercise at the Anatolia American College, in Thessaloniki, Greece, a private school with highly developed labs dedicated to the transfer of technology, Renewable Energy Sources and their systems and other related subjects.







An aggregate total of more than 100 teenage students participated in both events. Conducted at the level of junior high, their curriculum ensures students have a basic knowledge about energy preservation, ecology and environment preservation, thus making them already acquainted with the overall subject matter that was presented to them.

The previous entry in AQUACYCLE’s logbook can be accessed through this link.

The first 12 entries in AQUACYCLE’s logbook were published in February 2022, which can be downloaded from this link.