Thursday, December 8, 2022

Interact Club Members Save Lives with WAPIs

The water is clear ahead for many, thanks to the Coronado High School Interact Club (sponsored by Rotary) and their generous volunteer efforts Saturday. From 8 in the morning until noon students bustled in the Multi-purpose Room at the high school creating water purifiers for those in need in developing countries. How does one do this, you say? Well, Andrew Pettit, the senior behind the entire event, tells all. First, though, what is a WAPI?

A Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI) is a simple thermometer that indicates when water has reached pasteurization temperature and is safe to drink. It is a small handheld device that you place in your water, and when the water has boiled enough to be potable, the small piece of red wax will float to the top of the device and let the drinker know. The device can be made in four simple steps of placing the wax inside the tube, clamping both ends, fishing wire through the sides so it can hang, and then bagging it. The fifth step is shipping them; and in the case of Saturday’s event, 400 were created and shipped.

Completed and bagged WAPI with instructions.

Why is this lifesaving device being assembled by Coronado High School students? Pettit explains that the Rotarians have been partnered with the WAPI company for years, and since Interact and Rotary have always been able to produce mass amounts, the company sends devices for annual WAPI building days.

Leaving the impact of “giving every student the opportunity to help out the community (because it is open to everyone) and it is a great way to start helping out! It also counted as a Saturday school so it’s a win, win! For not only the students, but the places where the WAPIs are going.” Want to get involved? Although this WAPI-making event has passed, there is a similar event happening at UCSD with their Rotarian Club members on February 28th.  Locally though, Pettit explains that future Interact projects are on the horizon with ideas such as “feeding the homeless, beach cleanups, and helping an orphanage in Tijuana.”


Thanks to the students and volunteers who helped on Saturday, there will be access to clean drinking water for so many more people than before. Pettit states his thanks by saying, “I would like to thank everyone that came out and helped make these WAPIs! It was a HUGE success and I can not wait to do it again!” He would also like to thank you, as a community member, for making this place a safe environment for students who want to help others.

Are you inspired to join and help out our community and other parts of the world, but you’re not in high school? That’s not a problem, as the Rotary Club accepts members at any age who are willing to help serve the community; just get in contact with them at, and find the application or talk to one of their esteemed members in the yellow vests around town.

Grace Sylvester
Grace Sylvester
Grace is currently a senior at Coronado High School, she has moved to and from Coronado several times due to her mother being a captain in the Navy. Grace is currently enrolled in the CoSA musical theatre conservatory. the head photographer for the school newspaper, and works as a hostess at Clayton's Coffee Shop.Grace plans on majoring in Vocal Performance and Journalism when she attends university, and hopefully will become an Investigative Journalist for a well known news system.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]