April 29, 2016

Attention! T-minus 49 days until Eureka Fest! Do you know where your project is?

     This month, the weather here in South Mississippi has been working against us! Earlier this week, our city declared a state of emergency due to all of the rain here in Gulfport. Our school was sporting its own wave pool in the auditorium and a (not so lazy) river down all of our hallways. Even though we had to swim to the meetings, our team has been working hard on our preparations for this June. 
     This month our team has received a very generous donation of $5,000.00 from the Hancock Bank in Gulfport! With this, all travel expenses will be covered, and we will be able to bring all of our members to Eureka Fest! We are in the process of booking plane tickets and organizing transportation. Thank you again to the amazing people at the Hancock Bank, we would not be able to do it without you!
     In other news, our team has made tremendous progress on fabricating our prototype. The support for our vertical lift has been assembled and welded, and the top and bottom “plates” have both been milled out. Our enclosed platform is also measured, cut and ready to be welded. In order to remain more cost effective, we have decreased the size of our platform. This decreased the cost of the aluminum that was used.Because of a malfunction,the top plate had to be redesigned in solidworks and made again using a salvaged piece of aluminum. This was a good learning experience for some of our members to learn the solidworks program.
Besides solidworks, many of our members have also had the opportunity to learn new skills such as welding and operating a hand mill. Ashley and Joseph, our team’s two resident welders, have been teaching a few of our other members how to weld. By continuing to teach others, we hope to involve every member in our invention’s design and building process. Joseph has also taught several students how to operate the hand mill, which came in handy when the top plate needed to be touched up after being remilled on our CNC mill.  

   On the communication side, we are almost done creating all of our handouts for Eureka Fest. We have been designing pamphlets, business cards, and a visual poster to set up at our table. Our Communications Lead, Autumn Lopez, has also designed a business card holder in SolidWorks to use. We will be printing out a few of these on our 3D printer to set on our tables. We still need to iron out a few logistical things, but on the whole our team is prepared and excited for June!