Omar Lopez

Students, and teachers of the OHHS Curiosity Quest team poses with Hesperia Unified School District representatives. Their "Water Bunny" project at the Mojave Water Agency's Water Conference earned this team $1000.

Curiosity Quest: How Curiosity Can Go A Long Ways

February 20, 2020

Curiosity is what drives problem-solvers to seek a problem, explore it, and fix it. Back in November 2019, a group of Oak Hills High School students sought a problem: the lack of water conservation resources. On February 14, 2020, a new group of OHHS students saw a problem was awarded $1,000 in scholarship money for developing a solution for the risen problem.

Omar Lopez
The 2020 OHHS Curiosity Quest teams stands with PBS Curiosity Quest host, Joel Greene. The Curiosity Quest Team includes (from left to right) Rachel Feinstein, Kassandra Ortiz, Jezzica Vazquez, Mikki Bell, Angie Ramirez, Greg Saenz, Emily Vick, Roman Rodriguez, and Gabriel Pimentel.

Curiosity Quest is a show on PBS that embraces the need to know more information. Curiosity Quest is hosted by Joel Greene who, according to its website, “ventures on a quest to answer viewer’s letters of curiosity.” When schools were invited to partake in such a venture, schools from the high desert rose to the occasion. Oak Hills High School, Sultana High School, and Apple Valley High are just to name a few.

According to OHHS science teacher Dr. Greg Saenz, “OHHS has attended the Mojave Water Agency Water Conference for the past four years.”

This year, participants were given a challenge; in this case, to create and design a new device or technological advantage that would help with water conservation in or outside the home.

“This is the second year that Oak Hills has participated. Last year, we were selected by a lottery system that Mojave Water Agency has in place,” explains OHHS science teacher Angie Ramirez-Aguinaga, “We were not selected, but because one of the teams dropped out of the challenge, we were invited to participate. We had about a week to put a team together. Our students were eager and excited to participate.” 

Within less than a month, OHHS students stepped up and conducted their research. Using this research they gathered data and survey information, allowing them to present their findings in hopes of creating a product that would help support water conservation efforts.

That’s when the Water Bunny device was created. It is a device that detects water humidity or water in the soil. It may look like a water sprinkler, but it is not. This device has two sensors that look like “bunny ears.” If the bunny ears rise, the soil needs water. If the ears remain low, there is no need to water the soil. It’s science! 

Essentially, the Water Bunny is a device that monitors how much water the grass uses and whether it needs to be watered.

In 2019, Oak Hills High School won 1st place. In 2020, OHHS and Apple Valley High School were runners in this honored event with both teams taking home $1,000.

During the initial presentation in November, Senior Roman Rodriguez was recognized for his presentation skills and was given the honor to MC (Host) the event and be a part of the team.

“It’s such an awesome opportunity for our students to be part of a professional setting that relates to real-world problems and how they as high school students can make an impact by finding solutions that will drive future generations,” Ramirez-Aguinaga explains. “These are engineers, researchers, and scientists in the making.”


For more information about Curiosity Quest and OHHS’ involvement, visit this site.

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