October 20, 2014

Our team consists of the following members and roles, Tram is the Administrative Lead and will be sending out news and updates to all members. Kelly and Libby will both be taking on the Communications role and will be in charge of all our media and social networks. Karina will be the Technical Lead; and Jacob and Jon will both be managing the Financial role with the help of our sponsor, Mrs. Jill Taylor. 

Meetings have been every Thursday after school for about 2 hours. Some members have come in on Saturdays for a couple of hours to help with the cleaning and organization of our workspace. This has helped us to get to know each other a little better and build relationships. 

PROJECT UPDATES

We have three components of our project:

  • Algae Harvesting system
  • Mealworm Harvesting system
  • Solar Dehydrator

PROGRESS DURING THE LAST MONTH

Since we've received the grant, we've designated a workspace (an unused classroom) and cleared it out of unwanted furniture and other miscellaneous items. We've located, cleaned, and moved in old aquariums that we found for our algae aquacultures and tilapia. We've cleaned and hung up our grow lights and heat lamps, organized a master schedule, and set up our computer and SmartBoard. This entire process took about 3 days.

In addition, while we were moving items into the science closet, Karina, Jon, and Jacob found it full of electrical equipment and tools that we could use for the technical aspects of our project.

We are currently taking a weekly inventory of our mealworms (5000+ worms is not easy to keep track of...) dividing them up 500 worms to a bin and recording the number dead/pupated/morphed into beetles; Shannon is in charge of this process. We also separate the wheat grain that the worms live in and eat from their waste (frass) with a sifter when the odor of the ammonia is very prevalent. A few of us also have our own personal "worm farm" at home, where we are doing very much the same process on a smaller scale (200 worms/student).

We received the algae samples in the second week of October and cultured them as soon as we could. Currently they are doing very well. We have begun the design process for the algae harvester and prepared the aquariums for the cultures.

All members are researching on a different component of our project and will compile the information in the next meeting.

GOALS FOR UPCOMING MONTH

With the mealworms, we plan to observe their response to varying temperatures of their environment; our hypothesis is that they will reproduce more under a warmer temperature. Our goal is to find the optimal temperature for growth and reproduction.

For the algae, we plan to also find their optimal light and temperature setting for maximum growth. We will begin designing a system to harvest the algae.

We will have a visual map of each component of our project.

NETWORKING

Annie and Addison have set up our Twitter account.

For promotional purposes, we are planning on designing and passing out wristbands with our team name/logo to students at our school. This will attract the student body's attention and hopefully inspire some students to participate next year.

On October 23rd, we were interviewed by a reporter from the TulsaWorld, our city's newspaper, click here to read the article.