February 27, 2019

Despite the accumulating snow days, the Davenport West High School InvenTeam is making progress on developing their solution. This month, they have had multiple show-and-tell opportunities and have received new data to interpret from the field.

On February 12th, Dr. Leigh Estabrooks came to help us prepare for our Mid-Grant Technical Review and give us feedback on our efforts. The team gave her a formal presentation in Davenport West's engineering facilities, and afterward, they sat down with her to answer questions, receive feedback, and discuss methods of improvement. She brought a wonderful new perspective to the project and encouraged the communications team to reach out to previous Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams and others.

On February 13th, the Student Administrators and Sustainability Lead went with Dr. Estabrooks to present at the Iowa State Capitol, commonly called the Iowa Statehouse, in Des Moines, Iowa. The students were there on behalf of Lemelson-MIT and the U.S Patent and Trademark Offices to present to other students during STEM Day at the Capitol. They developed connections with like-minded peers and adults who had an interest in facilitating projects similar to the Kenya Water Project. They invited everyone they met, including state legislators and college representatives, to their Mid-Grant Technical Review.

On February 19th, the Davenport West High School InvenTeam was invited to John Deere Seeding in Moline, Illinois. They presented their project to John Deere employees in an effort to excite them into becoming mentors and volunteers for STEAM projects in the Quad Cities. They invited the whole crowd to their Mid-Grant Technical Review.

On February 22nd, client Joshua Ngao returned from his trip to Kenya with data! His month-long trip gave him many opportunities to gather information and perform tests given to him before he left. The whole team gathered to conduct a client interview and listened in as he talked about his experiences during the trip. He brought back water samples from the well for further testing. The test for coliforms came back indicating that there are coliforms in the water; however, due to the unstable temperatures during the test, this cannot be assumed to be true.

On February 26th, three members of the Technical Department went to Iowa American Water to analyze the water samples Mr. Ngao brought back. They worked with Dr. Joshua Lighton to determine water characteristics such as turbidity, iron, nitrate, total ammonia, total hardness, calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, alkalinity, manganese, conductivity, UV-254 (absorbance), and total dissolved solids. The results had led the team to believe that the water source had been pre-filtered before collection.

On February 28th, the Davenport West Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam held their Mid-Grant Technical Review! Several professionals from the community attended the event and gave feedback, including engineers, doctors, and the Director of the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship. This was also the night before their Trivia Night fundraiser, where they are working to raise over $5,000.00.