Christian Brothers College High School students have emerged as winners at World Wide Technology's Eighth Annual STEM Student Forum, which took place on Saturday, March 4. CBC, one of the top five finalists, took first place, claiming a $10,000 grant to implement their winning solution of reusing plastic bottles to make combs, toothbrushes, and even tiny houses for the homeless.
CBC was challenged to identify a solution for the problem statement, How can you use education and technology to create a more sustainable future, focusing on three types of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental, with six weeks to formulate a solution. After submitting a project video, CBC was selected as one of five schools to present its concept at WWT's global headquarters.
The STEM team's winning solution to reuse plastic bottles to 3D print combs, toothbrushes, and plastic bricks to build tiny homes garnered a $10,000 grant, allowing the STEM department to implement the solution at a grander scale. The idea came from realizing the accumulating waste of plastic bottles the school creates daily with over 900 students. With advice from the executive director of House Everyone STL and Printerior, the team built a machine to break down plastic bottles into strips to be used as 3D filaments.
The student team members include Charlie Gunn '23, Nik Huffmon '23, Henry Eardley '23, Patrick Weir '24, Aaron Johnson '25, Austin Meek '25, Connor Norton '25, Brady Spratte '25, Tyler Breece '26, and Blake Mallette '27.
"Winning the WWT STEM Student Forum was a long time coming," says Phillip Stapleton, CBC Educational Technology Educator, and STEM teacher. "CBC has competed for five years, and within those five years, a lot of hard work, growth, and dedication made this win possible. This win is not only for the ten young men that competed this year but also for all the young men that participated over those five years."
The annual WWT STEM Student Forum's mission is to raise awareness and foster interest by high school students in the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Each high school team is paired with a WWT employee to serve as a mentor to provide support and guidance.