Project Info
Food Systems 2016
1st Place winner
Project Overview

Less than three percent of all water on Earth is suitable for growing crops. The agricultural sector consumes about 70 percent of the planet’s accessible freshwater. In the coming years, climate change will only continue to disrupt weather patterns, which in turn will have significant effects on agricultural models around the world. Countries with once arable land are now realizing the importance of water conservation. After months of extensive research, we’ve identified a continuous source of freshwater that is all around us: air. At any given moment, Earth’s atmosphere contains 37.5 quadrillion gallons of water in the form of vapour. Our team created Stillæ to help capture water in the air before it fully evaporates, and then uses that water to irrigate crops in both developed and developing countries. Our team is fortunate to live near the five great lakes in Southern Ontario, an important freshwater reservoir. This often leads us to forget how privileged we are to have such a reliable source of water. We realized that in areas where rainfall isn’t frequent, a lot of valuable water is lost in the process of transpiration and evaporation when farming. The cactus is the basis of our idea because it is well known for its resilience in arid, harsh climates that not many plants could survive in. The holding tank of Stillæ is modelled after the bulbous trunk of the Socotra desert rose, a bottle-plant found on the Socotra archipelago. Lichen, another local organism, inspired us with its ability to absorb moisture in the air directly through its cell walls. The concept of catching water between the blades was inspired by the fogstand beetle. We also wanted to make our product run on green energy so Stillæ is covered in hexagonal-shaped solar panels, inspired by the honeycombs of bees.   

Team Members

Twinkle Mehta, Katherine Woods, Omolara Soyinka, Leslie Xin, Kate Sanchez, Amy Lu

Glenforest Secondary School
Ontario, Canada, Mississauga