School Awarded Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam™ Grant


St. Anne’s-Belfield School was one of only 15 schools nationwide to be awarded a 2014 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant. The $9,258 will be used to develop the CHINChILLA Filter, a lightweight, emergency water filter that can be distributed rapidly to individuals and families within a disaster or accident zone to provide potable water from any local source.

“Last year we had a lot of fun formulating our proposal for an emergency water filter,” said Dr. Troy. “Receiving an Excite Award and being national finalists in the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam program was a welcome recognition. When we heard that we’d received a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant, the students were thrilled. We’re honored to have this opportunity, and we realize that the real work lies in the months ahead.”

The CHINChILLA Filter employs the latest technology in water filtration to tackle the most challenging task, reliably purifying water of unspecified contaminants to potable standards at a rate of at least four liters per day over a service life of ten days to two weeks, providing drinking water from local sources while medium- and long-term relief is established. Its somewhat whimsical name is an acronym for Compact, Hybrid, In-situ, Chemical removing, Ion-exchanging, Lightweight, Lixivating, Appliance.

The St. Anne’s-Belfield InvenTeam will also work with James Smith, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia, who will guide the students through the development of their invention.

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