A short documentary film showing how Missouri University of Science and Technology students helped a village in Bolivia last summer has won the best short-form video award from Engineers Without Borders USA.
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The 6-minute film documents how Missouri S&T students worked to bring clean water to Tacachia, a tiny, remote community in Bolivia located in a steep valley south of La Paz, the nation’s capital. The students are members of Missouri S&T’s Engineers Without Borders chapter.
The award was presented at the 2011 EWB-USA International Conference, held March 24-26 in Louisville, Ky.
In Bolivia, the lack of clean drinking water results in the death of 1 out of every 10 children before the age of 5. The Missouri S&T EWB chapter has focused on helping Bolivians improve their water infrastructure to help change that statistic.
The S&T students visited Tacachia last July and August to install a new water distribution system. Tom Shipley, manager of video productions for Missouri S&T, traveled along with the team to record their work on film. Shipley also produced the film, titled “Engineers Without Borders: Tacachia,” which is available on the university’s YouTube site, www.youtube.com/MissouriSandT.
In 2009, S&T EWB students introduced the concept of biosand filtration to the community by installing 10 precast concrete filters. The team also constructed one of the needed ferro-cement storage tanks. Ferro-cement structures are typically strong and inexpensive to build, and made from a wire-reinforced mixture of sand, water and cement.
Established in 2006, Missouri S&T’s EWB chapter was the first college chapter established in Missouri. Today, there are more than 250 collegiate and professional EWB chapters in the United States.