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January 25, 2010

MTAC Announces Winners of their "Value of Water" High School Video Contest


Contact: Steve Wilson (217) 333-0956;


Champaign, Ill. – Students from Bradley Bourbonnais High School have won first place in the Midwest Technology Assistance Center (MTAC) "Value of Water" high school video contest.  Their video about a quest for water that’s more precious than gold was completed as a project for Jim Schreiner’s Biology Class.  The winning video will receive a $1000 first-place prize.

The second- and third-place videos came from Resurrection High School in Chicago, and were part of Jessica Wojcik’s Earth Science class that submitted 7 videos for the contest.  Fourth place went to the video submitted by Brian Tylkowski’s Chemistry of Nutrition class at Central High School in Champaign.

The first-place team was awarded $1000, $500 for their school/organization, and an additional $500 for the teacher or sponsor of the project.  The second-, third-, and fourth-place videos will receive $500, $300, and $200, respectively, also split equally between the school/organization and teacher.

The goal of the contest was to develop public service videos that demonstrate, in a  funny, positive, and creative way, the value of community tap water to our everyday lives.  Students were asked to consider what would happen if we no longer had tap water readily available at our homes, schools, and in our communities.

The contest was open to any high school student or student group in Illinois.  The judging was based on three factors: 40 percent on the delivery of the message about the value of tap water, 35 percent on creativity and originality, and 25 percent on the quality of the production.  The complete rules are available at:

Illinois American Water ($1000), the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association ($500), and the Illinois EPA’s four regional Groundwater Protection Committees ($500) provided the funding for the prizes.  Several organizations, in addition to those mentioned above, were involved on the contest committee.  They included the Tazewell County Health Department, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, the Illinois Science Teachers Association, and the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability.

The videos are all available for viewing on at the following Web address:

The contest committee will be sending several of the videos to television stations around the state for airplay as public service messages.

The Midwest Technology Assistance Center (MTAC) is a program of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and the Illinois Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois (U of I).  The ISWS is a Division of the U of I Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability.  MTAC is one of eight research and assistance centers (TACNet) funded by the US EPA to provide technical, managerial, and financial assistance to small public water systems across the country.

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