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High School student wins EPA sustainability award

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized this year’s winner of the EPA’s Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability award for demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship. Thabit Pulak, a sophomore at Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas, was named the recipient of the award. Pulak’s project, a Home-Based Arsenic Bio-Sand Water Filter, uses nano particles made with kitchen materials easily found in Southeast Asia to enhance a bio-sand water filter, so that it removes arsenic from water. Pulak was one of 1,549 student scientists and engineers competing in the Intel Internationals Science and Engineering Fair this week in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Thabit Pulak “Out of thousands of local and regional science fairs, the best come to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “EPA is honored to recognize a project that applies science and engineering to create environmental solutions for this and future generations.”

The EPA Patrick H. Hurd award grants funding for the winning student and a chaperone to participate in and display the student's project at EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo featuring the P3: People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Student Design Competition for Sustainability in 2013. Held each spring on the National Mall in Washington, DC, the National Sustainable Design Expo brings together the P3 students, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and businesses that are working to create a sustainable future.

The expo, which is free and open to the public, is a unique opportunity to discover innovative, cutting-edge environmental technologies developed by university students and their faculty advisors, learn what nonprofit organizations and government agencies are doing to advance sustainability, experience sustainable products that are currently available, and recruit talented hires with diverse educational backgrounds.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is a pre-college competition. Students advance to it from several levels of local and school-sponsored, regional, and state fairs showcasing their independent research. The Society for Science & the Public, a non-profit organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, founded and runs the fair.

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