Virginia State Team Wins Mechanical Engineering Competition

Students from Virginia State University, the historically black educational institution in Ettrick, recently won a regional competition sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In taking first place in the competition, the Virginia State students bested teams from the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and several other universities.

The teams were assigned the task of creating a device to clean polluted water without any nonhuman power source. The students were given only one hour to complete the task. The Virginia State team devised a system where one student rode a bicycle to power a generator which produced electricity. The electricity generated was used to power a heating element which boiled the water, turning it into steam. The steam was collected and condensed in a flask leaving the impurities in the original container.