Aqua men and women put Akron on Erie Hack map

Two teams from the University of Akron hope to make a splash at this week’s Erie Hack, a hackathon-style event, where engineers, scientists, researchers, coders and data and water experts try to solve Lake Erie’s challenges.
And win or lose, both say they plan to pursue their projects.
The hack is sponsored by the Cleveland Water Alliance, and teams from several Great Lakes cities have spent weeks coming up with ways to use technology and data to look at Lake Erie’s problems, such as algae blooms and water pollution.
Both UA teams are concentrating on collecting data about algae blooms, but in different ways.
Their idea: use citizen scientists, many of whom would be students, to help gather information on phosphorus and nitrogen levels in the water, which can contribute to dangerous algae blooms, and collect that information in a central, open-source database.
Siman said the team estimates the kits will cost about $40 each, making it affordable for schools and other organizations.
Several schools, companies and informal learning centers have gotten wind of the Warriors’ idea through Erie Hack, the University of Akron and the team members’ networks, and there is a lot of interest already, Siman said.
"We’ve developed a prototype that is robust enough to pursue," she said.
Hydrosense is the other team with University of Akron ties.
Like the Water Warriors, Hydrosense plans to move forward even if the team don’t come out on top at Erie Hack.

Learn More