November 22, 2016

Welcome to the Cypress Springs High School InvenTeam's first blog! Here, we will discuss our project description, our progress during the month of November, our upcoming goals for December, how we have been networking with others in our local community, and how we have been working together as a team.

Project Description

The Cypress Springs High School InvenTeam is inventing a solution for the problem of condensation forming on the interior of a firefighter's mask. We plan to invent a device called the “Anti-Fog Wipers.” The device will use a cylindrically-based wiper blade that will be operated by a servo to rid all the condensate on the lens and clear the area of view for the firefighter. The invention actively removes condensate that would otherwise be an impediment to the vision of firefighters while they are on-duty at the site of a fire.

The excerpt above is a succinct summation of our invention's project description. Though we will continually refine and edit our project description throughout the grant year, this is the plan for this year's endeavors as of November 2016.

Progress During November

November has been a long month of planning and preparing to build our project. We have been working to finalize the materials list to begin our prototype, learning to use a computer drafting program to design our project in detail, and delegating responsibilities to our team members. Though obstacles are inevitable, with solid communication throughout the team, we attempt to resolve each problem that comes up swiftly and efficiently. As Thanksgiving break passes, we are buying our materials and preparing to delve into creating the tangible aspects of our invention.

During the month of November, we visited Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Station 11 to observe a firefighter training session and attended the Houston Mini Maker Faire to network with others and learn about local projects in our community. In early November, a group of six students and our two club sponsors, Mrs. Wong and Mrs. Tompkins, visited the fire station to observe firefighters-in-training put out fires. We were able to talk to some firefighters and discuss how their fire masks fogged up, as well as how the rest of their SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) equipment worked! At the Houston Mini Maker Faire, we talked with local vendors and received some input on possible suppliers for materials. We were able to learn about electronics and circuitry, and we all had a blast doing so!

Goals for December

In December, we are planning to start making our invention! We are excited to begin working together as a team to create this project. We have placed our orders for some of our materials and are still working on finalizing the list. As soon as we receive our materials, we will start by building the electronic components of our invention and designing the framework of the wiper blades on SketchUp. We plan to continue to communicate with the local fire stations and reach out to potential mentors and sponsors.

Networking

We have been hard at work, attempting to get in contact with mentors and sponsors inside and outside of our school. We have since worked with the auto-tech teacher at our school to receive input and ideas on how to improve and design our project. Taking into consideration all of the factors that make our project of removing condensation a complex task, from the intense heat to the tight space that we have to work with, Mr. Warren (the auto-tech teacher), has given us valuable advice for our project. We plan to branch out to other internal and exteral sponsors and mentors as we continue into the year.

Since the initial press release regarding the schools that have received the InvenTeam Grant, the Houston Chronicle has reached out to us and conducted a brief interview with our team. We are grateful for this opportunity and hope to receive more media output in the future.

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/cyfair/schools/article/Cypress-students-hope-to-help-firefighters-with-10417914.php

We were given the opportunity to network with Mr. David Hartley, a local firefighter, to allow us to attend a firefighter training session! Mr. Hartley provided us with an invaluable experience where we were able to talk to local firefighters and ask them questions pertaining to the operations of the fire mask.

Team Work

Growing from seven members on the team last year to over twenty total members, it has been an exciting year! With many new members joining our team this year, we have been working on getting all our members on the same page and contributing equally to the project through sharing ideas, giving suggestions, preparing for each meeting. Since it is early on in the grant year, much of the work has been delegated to the officers and leaders, but as we prepare to enter the building phase, we expect for all members to share in making our project a reality!