MIDDLEBURG -- The Bloomsburg Fair held a STEM competition this year for the first time. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.
Bloomsburg University challenged students to come up with a way to improve Pennsylvania using water.
Using pots, filters, and heat from the sun, with three weeks' notice, a group of about 10 students from Midd-West High School in Middleburg built a project that uses plants and a distillery to purify dirty fracking water.
"Fracking water has so much bad stuff in it. A regular distillery model wouldn't work. Through using photo remediation, that will clean the water enough that our distillery can take care of the rest," junior Keenan Dietz explained.
While building this, these students tell Newswatch 16 there was also a clear goal in mind -- a $10,000 first prize.
"It was for a STEM competition put on by Bloomsburg University at the Bloomsburg Fair," said technology education teacher Matthew Dietz.
"The other schools, they knew about it in April. We kind of just were like, 'hey, we got to figure something out quick,'" said Keenan Dietz.
Bloomsburg University held the first STEM competition at the Bloomsburg Fair this week.
Six schools showed off their projects at the fairgrounds and Midd-West High School won first place.
"It was a little nerve-wracking," said senior Chloe Lantz. "To have to present in front of six judges and know that there was $10,000 on the line."
Lantz was there when the project she helped create won first place and $10,000.
"Knowing that I'll be going to college in a year, it definitely puts it into perspective that you know these are things that we can be doing in the real world."
The Midd-West High School students plan to put a committee together to decide where the money should go. Students will be showing off their project at the fair this week in Bloomsburg.