Gearing up for MIT
Second semester saw months of testing our system. EurekaFest is next week, and though our project is not perfect, we are nevertheless excited to present what we have produced in a year's worth of tireless efforts.
Progress during the last (few) month(s)
Our team traveled to the Rose State College FabLab in Del City, OK, to use the technology that they had there. Since we aren't able to actually bring our devices to MIT, we used the laser printer to cut out pieces from balsa wood to construct miniature models of our system for EurekaFest. We are still researching and testing different methods of harvesting the algae using banana leaves, so a few team members came up with their own banana leaf filter design and had it printed using the 3D printer at the FabLab.
With the help of the wonderful Mr. Reeder, we constructed our bicycle generator that will be used to power the paddle in the algae pool on cloudy or rainy days, when the solar panels cannot be used. The bicycle can be used by anyone, children included. Once again, thank you for your help, Mr. Reeder!
We've calculated all the projected amounts of each ingredient that we had to harvest/include in our final fish food formula. We've also tested buoyancy of our different formulas and found the one that worked best--for the adult tilapia, which are topfeeders, we want the fish food to remain at the surface of the water for a few minutes, and with the tilapia fingerlings, we want the fish food to break down once it hits the water to make consumption of the food easier for the fish.
Implementation of our system at the New Generations Children's Home is projected to cost $8,500; we plan to raise $10,000 for it.
We are now preparing for our trip to MIT next week; our presentation and displays are complete, and all we have left to do now is put it all together and rehearse!
Goals for upcoming month
Due to currently unsafe conditions in the Kenyan area, our team will not be able to travel to the orphanage to test our project there. However, after EurekaFest, Mrs. Gradel will travel to Africa to implement a small prototype of our system in a different area from the orphanage in Kenya. Once she finds the effectiveness of the project, she will bring back results to help us refine our project. Hopefully, next summer we will be able to take a team of students to the orphanage.
Over the course of second semester, we were able raise over $15,000 from corporate donations and fundraising. Fundraisers included t-shirt sales, which we conducted at the The Assembly in Broken Arrow, and our "Jail and Bail" fundraiser, in which each team member had to collect $500 in bail money. Both were a success! We've also had donations from several local companies, including the Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation, GS Helms and Assoc., GH2 Architects, HP Engineering, Inc., Manhattan, DCI Engineers, Crafton Tull, Western, and The Assembly. Thank you for your support and partnership!
Last week we had our final presentation to our sponsors and parents, a "send-off" before we leave for MIT. We received great feedback, and we even got an article in the TulsaWorld newspaper!
Teamwork has been at an all-time high in the last months. We all realized the quickly-approaching EurekaFest date, so we pulled together and completed our tasks in a timely manner. We found that to-do lists were very helpful and kept us all focused.