Science Fair Success

Bilal - LRSEF winnerThey say if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Eighth grader Bilal Abdulbaqi didn’t need to try again. He won Louisville Water’s award at his first ever Louisville Regional Science and Engineering Fair in early March.

Abdulbaqi credits his science teacher at Nur Islamic School.

“It’s all thanks to my science teacher Ms. Ndife, who has pushed me to be at my best this year,” he shared.

Abdulbaqi researched ideas and finally landed on the topic of water treatment approaches.

“My project was about the methods to disinfect untreated water. This project felt right to me because it has the potential to solve worldwide problems.”

Dr. Zhu with LRSEF winnerLouisville Water Manager of Water Research and Development Dr. Eric Zhu judged the entries for the company award. He started with a field of 22 science fair competitors from area middle and high schools. Scientist Isaac Reff narrowed it down to 10. On the day of the fair, Zhu interviewed eight students about their project.

He chose Abdulbaqi as Louisville Water’s award recipient.


“His project was titled The Effect of Different Disinfection Methods on Untreated Water.” Zhu said, “I liked his project because firstly he studied an important drinking water topic, disinfection, for underdeveloped countries. Secondly, he followed a good scientific approach to study the effect of different disinfection techniques.”

The Nur student said he collected the water from a nearby pond for his experiment.

“I used a method called solar disinfection or SODIS for short versus boiling water. Both methods were effective in disinfecting. After the four day incubation period, the SODIS samples had a 90.8% and 80% reduction in bacterial growth while the boiling water had a 97% reduction in bacterial growth. The solar disinfection method works great at disinfection in general.”

Zhu said, “I enjoyed the opportunity to make some positive impact on these very bright young people.”

This was the 60th anniversary for LRSEF. Louisville Water has sponsored an award for many years, while also providing Pure Tap® reusable bottles for judges and students.