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“I like engineering because it’s not a sit-at-your desk job. You’re working to build something that will eventually serve a purpose,” he said.
Borne called Shah’s water filter “innovative” and wasn’t surprised that he came up with the idea. Shah and a team of students last year were state winners for a green roof project they created for a STEM competition sponsored by the U.S. Army.
“He’s so intuitive,” she said, noting that even though he’s no longer in junior high, “he keeps coming back and he’s asking questions and making connections.” His portable water filter can “go so many ways to help people in need. Water is such a precious commodity.”
Hiren Shah, Suraj’s dad, said he was impressed with the discipline his son showed with the project. “He’s really challenged himself,” he said.
Shah is already thinking about potential I-SWEEEP projects for next year, and he would also like to enter the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. He may modify his filter for next year’s project or come up with something entirely new, he said.
He’s excited by the success he’s had with this project, but only a little surprised, he said.
“I knew initially that I wanted to put a lot of time into it,” he said. “I think the effort paid off.”
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283