Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Life-Saving Search & Rescue: The Journey to Mission Success

  Pt. 2 of 4 – Discovery

      Welcome back!

As SPOT-R developed their device using the eCYBERMISSION STEM-In-Action Grant, they discovered and implemented technical changes that would soon demonstrate an even greater potential for mission success.

Thus far, the team successfully sourced, purchased, and installed all of the systems and parts to make the drone device operational.
Like any project, team SPOT-R has gone through a number of transformations, each one helping to improve its mission. Let’s see what they discovered along the way!

 Ø  Original Discovery   
Originally, SPOT-R’s project 
called for a completely custom design, a raspberry pi as the controller, and only an infrared camera. After somresearch, they discovered that it may be better to use a pre-manufactured multi-rotor. However, we soon discovered that something like a DJphantom would nohave enough battery life for this innovation.

Ø New Discovery
       It was at this time that team SPOT-R discovered that it would be better if there were six props instead of four, as originally planned. Having six helps add more stability and redundancy in case a motor ailed during flight.

Ø  Current Discovery
     Team SPOT-R discovered recently that the original design allows weight shift with the batterYleading to problems in flight tests. Construction of a protective shroud is currently underway, which will protect the instruments and help maintain the device’s center of gravity!

 Throughout their mission, SPOT-R has been able to strengthen relationships and connect with the community. See how SPOT-R has successfully connected with the community in Pt. 3!
 STAY TUNED for Pt. 3 of 4 – A Connected Community!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Life-Saving Search & Rescue: A Journey to Mission Success

Part 1 of 4 - The Journey

Team SPOT-R (Seeking People Over Terrain-Remotely) competed in the 2014-2015 eCYBERMISSION competition and received a U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program STEM-In-Action Grant, to further implement their STEM and community-focused project.

During the 2014-2015 National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE), SPOT-R’s project was still a prototype, with the hopes of one day revealing a drone device at an unveiling in their Linville, NC community.

SPOT-R’s device is a quad-copter designed to help search and rescue operations in the Appalachian Mountains. Initial testing of the apparatus and program design determined that this innovation could be a very useful asset in locating people in remote areas.

Led by Team Advisor Elizabeth Hardy, we last saw team SPOT-R—Nathaniel Hardy, Suzy Clark, and C.J. Clark— at the “SPOT-R Reveal” unveiling on April 21, 2016, a huge community success involving a SPOT-R meet-and-greet and live drone action. The event was a part of the North Carolina Science Festival .

"It has been a very exciting experience working on SPOT-R,” said student team members. “We have made remarkable developments on all three components of the SPOT-R project."

The eCYBERMISSION STEM-In-Action Grant funds allowed SPOT-R to—SELECT, ORDER, ASSEMBLE—components to create the prototype. As SPOT-R developed their device, they implemented technical changes that would soon demonstrate an even greater potential for mission success.

What's Next

  • STAY TUNED for Part 2 of 4 - Discovery!
  • Click here for more about eCYBERMISSION's STEM-In-Action Grant and how you can get involved. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

STEM-In-Action at its Best: Students Turn Ideas into Reality

“I encourage kids to keep dreaming big... Dreams can come true even in a small town.” - Andrea L.

Let's Catch Up!

Team Crabyotics, 2015 White House Science Fair
When it comes to student-focused STEM projects at Taos Middle/High School, ideas seem limitless.

It all started with information shared from a group of Taos students participating in a STEM demonstration during eCYBERMISSION's 2013-2014 National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE). The demonstration mentioned the use of Chitosan as a filtration. The students shared this information back in New Mexico with soon-to-be team Crabyotics—Andrea-Chin Lopez, Julia Johnson, Anthony Archuleta, and James Valerio.

This shared-information soon became a bio-filter system community project, which competed in local science fairs, competitions, and of course eCYBERMISSION, which resulted in the team's STEM-In-Action Grant.

During the 2013-2014 eCYBERMISSION competition, Team Advisor (TA) Laura Tenorio and her team “Crabyotics,” located in New Mexico, developed a bio-filter system that successfully removes antibiotic drugs from drinking water, thus helping to stem the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.

“To this day, if you ask any of them, they still don’t believe it really happened,” said Team Advisor Laura Tenorio. “They are convinced that it was just a dream.”

Three Steps to Turn Your Idea into Reality!

Taos is considered a rural area with access to limited resources for major scientific efforts. But at the Middle School’s science lab, commonly referred to as the “The Tyger Lab,” Anthony and Andrea came together with their fellow 9th grade team members James and Julia to research all that was needed to produce Chitosan and then produce a filter.

Crabyotics in "The Tyger Lab"
  1. In July of 2013, team Crabyotics began to work on their IDEA of making a filter against antibiotics.
  2. It was then that they DETERMINED that not only could it chemically work in theory, but that this filtration method could also be cost effective.
  3. This was when they began to think of a business plan, which the group CREATED after their research revealed their filter had potential for a patent. 

Andrea and TA Laura Tenorio worked together to smooth out the business plan the team started creating. The teams’ main goal was to turn an idea into reality and incorporate into the community.

“eCYBERMISSION completely changed the entire focus of the project, along with the STEM-In-Action Grant,” said Andrea… “Thanks to the grant and our Team Advisor, the project and our futures were invested and encouraged.”

Of the original STEM-In-Action Grant proposal, the only part that has not been implemented is the Middle School and Community implementation. Actions are currently underway to determine a mass identification of water contaminants. The patent application is ongoing and being modified and FDA and EPA approval of the filter use will not go into action until further testing has been completed.

What Now?

Graduating Seniors: Fast forward to this school year! The team members of Crabyotics are now high school seniors, planning bright futures in STEM and medical fields. 

Managing the STEM-In-Action Grant: Anthony, James, and Julia have gone in separate directions from the project, while Andrea has maintained work on the grant. Andrea recruited two eCYBERMISSION AlumniArasely Rodriguez (The Wyrmies- 2013 NJ&EE) and Will Song (1st Place State, 2015)to continue year three of the business plan and experimentation.  Currently:

Ø  Andrea, Arasely, and Will are working on the final phase of Crabyotics, named “Crabsorption,” which will focus on laboratory honed chitosan as an absorption media for pharmaceuticals from water sources and from the human body.

Ø  Dual patent are in the works, both with Crabyotics original purpose, and with Crabsorption.
Ø  Andrea and Mentor/TA Laura Tenorio have continued to gather more sponsors to support the implementation of the idea. (i.e. attract interest of ISEF, enter the Science Talent Search, and plans to compete in BioGenius and AEOP’s Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS).

New/Upcoming Tests: They tested a wide variety of antibiotics against chitosan cooked for varying times, and focused on a filter design that could resist water pressures with potential use in a universal setting.

In the Community: Not only does Andrea assist with Taos Middle/High School teams competing in eCYBERMISSION, she encourages students with little interest or knowledge in STEM to join eCYBERMISSION. Her experiences are then shared with younger age groups in the community.