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Student poster contest winner Emaline Kennedy illustrated her entry with low water use plants. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Contests

Vista Irrigation District Contests Award Student Scholarships, Art Prizes

Eight North San Diego County high school seniors and three fourth-grade students were the winners of two separate Vista Irrigation District sponsored contests.

Vista Irrigation District Scholarship winners in 2021 include (Top Row, L to R) Kulpreet Chhoker, Kylie Konyn, Anthony Jones, Delanee Haskins; Second Row, (L to R): Colby Rafail, Malia Leonard, John Ramirez. Not pictured:  Izak Bunda. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Vista Irrigation District Scholarship winners in 2021 include (Top Row, L to R) Kulpreet Chhoker, Kylie Konyn, Anthony Jones, Delanee Haskins; Second Row, (L to R): Colby Rafail, Malia Leonard, John Ramirez. Not pictured: Izak Bunda. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Kulpreet Chhoker from Mission Vista High School, Kylie Konyn from St. Joseph Academy, and Delanee Haskins from North County Trade Tech High School each received $2,000 as winners of the Vista Irrigation District 2021 scholarship contest.

Izak Bunda from Guajome Park Academy, Anthony Jones and Malia Leonard from Rancho Buena Vista High School, and Colby Rafail and Juan Ramirez from Vista High School each received $500 as runners-up in the scholarship contest.

Open to high school seniors living or attending school within the Vista Irrigation District’s service area, the scholarship contest helps create awareness and increase knowledge about water-related issues impacting the Vista Irrigation District and the region where students live.

Poster Contest winners depict theme “Love Water, Save Water”

Open to District students in the fourth grade, the annual Student Poster Art Contest is designed to promote understanding of water issues in elementary schools.  This year’s theme was “Love Water, Save Water.”

Student poster contest winner Emaline Kennedy illustrated her entry with low water use plants. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Contests

Student poster contest winner Emaline Kennedy illustrated her entry with low water use plants. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Grapevine Elementary School fourth-grader Emaline Kennedy received first place honors for her Water Awareness Poster Contest entry.  She received a $100 award.

Second place winner Paul Gomez focused on enjoying water responsibly. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Second place winner Paul Gomez focused on enjoying water responsibly. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Fourth-grader Paul Gomez from Empresa Elementary School received a second-place award of $50.

Third place winner Matthew Potter depicts rainfall as a precious water resource.

Third place winner Matthew Potter depicts rainfall as a precious water resource. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Matthew Potter, a fourth-grader attending Alamosa Park Elementary School, received a third-place award of $25.

The three winning posters were selected from 249 entries based on the theme, artwork, originality, and poster design.  Emaline’s poster will appear in the 2022 Water Awareness Calendar, which will be available free of charge at the district’s office in November 2021.

(Editor’s note: The Vista Irrigation District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

First Place, Color: Winner Kayla Rosenberg, a freshman at Hilltop High School, said her entry “Sunshine Shower” portrayed the family dog' sense of fun. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Student Photographers

Student Photographers Capture Water

Thirteen talented student photographers creatively captured the importance of water in their homes and in the context of the coronavirus pandemic in Sweetwater Authority’s 2021 High School Photo Contest.

Winners were selected from 50 students from South San Diego Bay high schools who submitted more than 100 entries in two categories: black and white, and color photography. In each photo, water plays a central part in favorite activities and quality of life.

The water agency acknowleged it was an unusual year and thanked students for their contributions during an unusual school year.

“This year’s contest was unique, in that we asked students to reflect on the meaning of water in their homes and in the context of the pandemic,” said Leslie Payne, Sweetwater Authority public affairs manager. “The entries we received and their accompanying essays reflected not only on the importance of water but also of the ability of art to uplift us all during difficult times.”

 Top Honors for student photographers

Color Photography

First Place, Color: Winner Kayla Rosenberg, a freshman at Hilltop High School, said her entry “Sunshine Shower” portrayed the family dog’s sense of fun. Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority

First place winner Kayla Rosenberg, a freshman at Hilltop High School, said her entry “Sunshine Shower” shows how her family uses water to have fun. “During the long hot days, I usually turn on the hose to water the grass and plants. But, my biggest dog just can’t resist the shower of water.”

Second Place, Color: Chula Vista High School sophomore Araceli Romo portrayed her love for watercolor painting in “Watercolor Wonderland” Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority

Chula Vista High School sophomore Araceli Romo portrayed her love for watercolor painting in “Watercolor Wonderland.” Her photo won second place.

Third Place, Color: Trinity Fuentecilla, Eastlake High School, “Water for Roots” Photo Courtesy: Sweetwater Authority

Alia Kircher, a senior at Bonita Vista High School, said her photo “Roots” depicting a plant’s roots growing in water “symbolizes how water keeps us alive.”

Black & White Photography 

First Place, Black and White: Mariah Journigan, Bonita Vista High School, “Shelter In Place” Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority

Junior Mariah Journigan of Bonita Vista High School described her winning photo “Shelter In Place” in her entry essay: “Every drop of water in this picture represents two things: The chaos and uncertainty in the past year during COVID-19, and the daily lifeline it has been to us at home … Having water to wash our hands has been a lifeline and nothing less than an essential part of my daily life this past year.”

Second Place, Black and White: Airyl Van Dayrit, Sweetwater High School, said “Water’s Vibrant Shades” represents both the comfort of water as an essential element along with the realities of water pollution and scarcity. Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority

Second Place winner Airyl Van Dayrit a senior at Sweetwater High School, said “Water’s Vibrant Shades” represents both the comfort of water as an essential element along with the realities of water pollution and scarcity.

Honorable Mention: Trinity Fuentecilla, 9th Grade, Eastlake High School – “Tree Branch View." Photo: Sweetwater Authority Student Photographers

Honorable Mention: Trinity Fuentecilla, 9th Grade, Eastlake High School – “Tree Branch View” Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority

Trinity Fuentecilla, a freshman at Eastlake High School, won third place for her photo “Water for Roots,” celebrating a new love of plants developed during the pandemic.

Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention: Esteban Robledo, 11th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Let’s Take a Leap of Faith." Photo: Sweetwater Authority Student Photographers

Honorable Mention: Esteban Robledo, 11th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Let’s Take a Leap of Faith” Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority

Color Category

  • Gregory Aguilar, 10th Grade, Chula Vista High School  “Afternoon at Morrison Pond”
  • Joaquin Angulo, 11th Grade, Hilltop High School  “Water + Plants = Happiness”
  • Mariah Journigan, 11th Grade, Bonita Vista High School – “Detox”
  • Ashley Marquez, 11th Grade, Chula Vista High School – “Spring Blossom”
  • Itzlamin Reta, 9th Grade, Sweetwater High School – “Flower Droplet”
  • Esteban Robledo, 11th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Let’s Take a Leap of Faith”
Honorable Mention: Kaitlyn Vu, 12th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Thirst Quencher." Photo: Sweetwater Authority Student Photographers

Honorable Mention: Kaitlyn Vu, 12th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Thirst Quencher” Photo: Courtesy Sweetwater Authority

Black and White Category

  • Mariah Journigan, 11th Grade, Bonita Vista High School – “Refresh From The Stress”
  • Trinity Fuentecilla, 9th Grade, Eastlake High School – “Tree Branch View”
  • Joaquin Angulo, 11th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Wash Your Hands”
  • Mayra Huezo, 11th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Water Uses”
  • Kaitlyn Vu, 12th Grade, Hilltop High School – “Thirst Quencher”

Judging was done through a blind selection process by Sweetwater Authority staff members and Bonita Museum & Cultural Center Director Wendy Wilson. First-place winners in each category were awarded $400; second place, $300; third place, $200; and $50 for Honorable Mention.

The winning photos are displayed in a slideshow. A special exhibit at the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center will showcase the winning photographs from May 15 through June 12.

(Editor’s note: The Sweetwater Authority is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Students-Student displays science and engineering fair project

San Diego County Students Innovate to Solve Water Challenges

In March, Water Authority staff judged water-related projects by students at the 67th annual Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. Judging the fair is a longstanding tradition at the Water Authority and a component of the education outreach program. For decades, the Water Authority has recognized the top water-related projects with a scholarship and award. This year’s fair was conducted in a virtual format, but more than 280 students still brought their best projects to the table.

Each student who was interviewed by Water Authority staff demonstrated a strong knowledge of the scientific process, as well as an awareness of big picture issues that are important in the water industry and beyond. Five winners were selected, and each will receive a gift card and plaque. Water Authority staff also showcased a video of the five winners and their outstanding projects at the April San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors meeting.

Students present top water-related projects

Forward-thinking students solve global and everyday water issues

In the senior division, first place winner Bella Rose Schremmer designed a piston-buoy rack and pinion wave energy converter device. The 10th grader from University City High School said she was inspired by the kinetic energy formed by ocean waves, and she wanted to create a project that could capture that energy as a renewable energy source to replace the burning of fossil fuels. Bella Rose attributed part of her success in this project to her father, who supported her by procuring materials and providing encouragement, and to her teacher and mentor, Mrs. Bosch, who guided her through the process.

In second place, Suvali Sengupta created a biodegradable microporous polymer that was designed to help soil water retention in an agricultural setting. The 11th grader from Westview High School shared that her inspiration came from her Indian heritage and the drought conditions that India’s farmers struggle with each year.

Saltwater desalination, water purification, water conservation

In the junior division, Kristine Talaga from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School won first place with her project on saltwater desalination. The 7th grader designed a project to test the effects of different colored backgrounds – black, white or foil – on containers containing salt water and how quickly heat could desalinate the water in each container.

Samantha Rivera, an 8th grader from Chula Vista Middle School, claimed second place with her project about which methods of water purification removed the most dissolved solids.

In third place, 8th grader Sonria Rheiglene Simanski, also representing Chula Vista Middle School, tracked how much water is wasted when waiting for the shower to warm up, determining the best times of day to shower for optimal water-use efficiency.

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo

Fourth-Grade Artists Win OMWD’s 2020 Water Awareness Poster Contest

Encinitas, Calif.—Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors recognized the winners of the 2020 North County water agencies’ Water Awareness Poster Contest at its September 9 meeting.

Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair Announces County Winners

San Diego County students showed off their expertise at the recent 2020 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, with dozens being named winners for their projects.