2020 Youth Water Academy Applications Open

Students from grades 9 to 12 are invited to apply for OWASA’s Youth Water Academy, which will introduce participants to the fascinating process of protecting, sourcing, treating, and delivering the community’s water and wastewater services.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from OWASA’s talented team of engineers, operators, distribution crews, scientists, administrative staff, and more. They work behind-the-scenes to deliver safe and reliable water and wastewater services to the community – because water is vital to community development, sustainability, living healthy, and having fun!

Participants build model water filtration system in 2019 OWASA Youth Water Academy.

Dates: October 7, 14, 21, 28, and November 4, 2020

Time: Flex Wednesday afternoons from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Grades: 9-12

Cost: Free!

Deadline to Apply: September 22, 2020

Guidelines for selecting applicants include:

  • High school student in Carrboro or Chapel Hill
  • Demonstrated interest in water/wastewater management and conservation
  • Excitement for sharing water education with peers and the community
  • Representation from diverse schools and cultures

Applicants must be available for all five sessions.

The Details

Week 1 – October 7 – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Orientation, virtual Water Treatment Plant tour

Assignment: Team scavenger hunt

Week 2 – October 14 – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Virtual Wastewater Treatment Plant tour

Assignment: Complete team scavenger hunt and 5-minute presentation

Week 3 – October 21 – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Scavenger hunt presentations, career panel, capstone project overview

Assignment: Reach out to the mentor of your choice and begin capstone project

Week 4 – October 28 – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Engineering Challenge: Line break simulation

Assignment: Complete capstone project and presentation

Week 5 – November 4 – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Capstone presentations and graduation ceremony


Participants will team up with an OWASA mentor to complete a capstone project.

A few examples of these projects include:

  • Attend a Board meeting and summarize the experience in a presentation
  • Compare treatment technology at one of our treatment plants to another utility
  • Design a water filtration system using household material
  • Write an op-ed on water for a local news outlet

These are just a few suggestions for capstone projects, and participants are encouraged to suggest their own ideas.

Download 2020 Youth Water Academy Information Poster

For more information, contact OWASA Communications Specialist Blake Hodge by email or phone at (919) 537-4236.

Cover photo from 2019 Youth Water Academy