The Panther Robotics Club was busy last Fall. They helped Mr. Jim Barbour build a working version of the “High Efficiency Water Segregator”. The idea was originally prototyped by Daniel Ficca, a PHCS alumnus, seven years ago, using a ten gallon aquarium. The 637 gallon HEWS uses an Arduino controller, two motor controllers and two stepper motors to automatically clean a commercial fish farm. After building and testing it, Mr Barbour presented the patented invention to the University of Maryland’s Do Good Robotics Contest and won first place! The $4,000 prize was donated to the Robotics Club and will be matched by the Textron Corporation. Their HEWS is currently holding a crop of Koi fish varying from 3” to 14” long which will be sold at a later date as a fund raiser.  Their HEWS project was recently upgraded with a womery (that grows the fish food) and re-plumbed so the nutrient rich water can irrigate a vegetable garden while fresh water is applied to the tank.  All students are invited to visit the project and feed the fish, so feel free to have your parents contact Mr. Barbour at