DIY Girls Mid Grant Technical Review
At our Mid Grant Technical Review, we presented our first prototype to a group of engineers from the MIT Club of Southern California, teachers, family members, and government officials, which included Congressman Tony Cardenas and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. The goal was to inform them about our invention and receive feedback on areas that we could improve. This was accomplished before our presentation when people had the opportunity to learn about our team's roles and pose questions about our individual contributions to the invention.
By the time the event was over, everyone in the audience, especially our family members, expressed surprise and deference at discovering what we've been tirelessly working on for months. As a team, we received a lot of positive feedback about our presentation and how well-spoken we all were. We also received feedback for each part of the project, as described below:
The Structure Team presented the overall process we went through to decided on our final tent design. We displayed the "spider-like mechanism" that made up the supporting structure of the first tent we had purchased. In doing this, we were showing our viewers the different possible designs that we had originally considered for our tent. Alongside this "spider-like mechanism" we presented carbon fiber poles that we had originally purchased to test out different types of pole material for our tent. We also displayed a 3D printer along with the 3D printed clips that we had created on Tinkercad to demonstrate one step we had taken within our process.
Our team received a lot of helpful feedback that will definitely be taken into consideration in the next steps of our process. One of these pieces of feedback was to try ordering the tent clips needed for our tent to disassemble, instead of 3D printing, and possibly using a stronger material for them. We also received feedback to include a picture demonstration about how our tent assembles and disassembles. Our team will definitely be using the feedback we received at MGTR. We will be looking into different materials we could use to print our tent clips and also do research to see if we can perhaps find a company that has a professional 3D printer. The Structure team has also discussed on how we will approach using the feedback we received in regards to including a visual representation on how to assemble and disassemble our tent.
At our Mid Grant Technical Review, the materials team presented our first prototype. We had the opportunity to showcase our tent and explain the process of selecting its fabric as well as the sewing. We received great feedback from our visitors; for example, many were impressed of what we had done and how we successfully put together a tent. Others asked us intriguing questions and gave us suggestions that we want to take into account. One being that since we are going to improve our first prototype and make another, we should take as much information as we can by testing its capabilities. We can do this by condensing its size to the point where it may break and flooding it with water to test its maximum capacities. We want to use this feedback to better our prototype.
The solar power team presented our part of the project, which included a solar panel that charges LED lights, a phone charger, and our UVC LED light safety features. In displaying our safety features, we were also able to display our codes, a seven segment timer, and a passive infrared sensor. Our team got positive feedback from the people that we talked to. They thought that the safety features were very intricate. Some of the feedback we received included how to check if our UVC lights are able to sanitize and where all the solar panel components will be stored. They also asked how long it takes to charge the LED light bulb and how long it takes to sanitize the tent using the UV lights. We will use this to develop our project by creating test plans for our UV lights and by using it to decide how many components will hold all of our features.
During MGTR, I felt as if all our hard work was being recognized and paid off. Being able to socialize with the people before the presentation made it even easier as everyone approached us easily and we were able to answer questions more freely. We are so thankful for all those people who gave us tips and advised us as to what we could improve on. Because of this, we are able to gain a different perspective on our prototype based on the comments we received. This lead me to feel determined to improve our prototype.
After experiencing MGTR, I'm even more excited and motivated to help the homeless population of Los Angeles. We realized just how big a deal what we're doing is, and how it can affect many people’s lives for the better. We were never aware of how proud we are making our community by helping create an invention that’s directed to helping the homeless population. Up to that moment, everything had felt like a school project, but afterwards, it started to feel like we were solving a real-world problem. This invention isn’t just important for our school but also our community! I can’t wait until we start making our second prototype and further improve our invention. We are thrilled to go to MIT in June! I can't wait to show even more people what we put our sweat, blood, and tears into.