STEM-In-Action Spotlight: Blazing Radiance

We continue to catch up with each of our STEM-In-Action grant teams to see how their projects are progressing. The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) STEM-In-Action Grant awards eCYBERMISSION teams up to $5,000 to develop their projects into mature and scalable solutions in their community.   

In 2018, we awarded 5 teams a STEM-in-Action Grant and we are excited to see how team Blazing Radiance has been using their grant to help their community.


Blazing Radiance: FICSS-ing the Future of Firefighting

Team Blazing Radiance

We are Team Blazing Radiance, and we took Smokey the Bear’s words - “Only you can prevent wildfires!” - to heart while starting our eCYBERMISSION project as 6th graders in Germantown, Maryland at Roberto Clemente Middle School. So, who exactly are we as people? We’re loud, we’re enthusiastic, we’re creative, and we’re hard working. We follow the motto by Pat Riley, “Great effort comes from great attitude,” and have found our beliefs in the power of effort true as work to bring about change in our community through our eCYBERMISSION STEM in Action Grant opportunity.

It all began with a simple message from one of our moms, asking if we wanted to participate in a STEM competition. We decided to compete in eCYBERMISSION. The STEM competition’s opportunities for innovation, extended research, and the exciting possibility of their National Judging & Educational Event (which was an amazing experience, by the way) was outside of anything we could do in school and got us excited to invent something new and make a difference in the way our world works.

Our team is tackling a problem that isn’t necessarily prevalent in our community but is a huge international problem: wildfires. We have been especially focused on the California Wildfires that occurred in 2017, as they have recently caused a tremendous amount of environmental, financial, and human damage to the people of California. Specifically, wildfires pollute the air, take lives, cause injuries, and clear land, which takes substantial amounts of money to repair.

Wiring and understanding FICSS

To address the problem, our team built Fire Indicators Combined to Save Souls, or FICSS.  FICSS is an early wildfire detection system that notifies authorities about a wildfire before it escalates to an uncontrollable level. FICSS alerts not only firefighters but also park rangers and forest managers, who can start extinguishing a fire at its smallest level before firefighting forces arrive. Moreover, our product sends information to a more convenient, portable device compared to the bulky databases firefighters currently use, allowing firefighters to analyze information while they travel instead of at the station. By increasing the efficiency of the firefighting process as described, FICSS helps decrease the amount of destruction caused by these fires and potentially reduces government funding for wildfire management. This would benefit our community, as wildfires cause destruction that, once again, causes fatalities, is expensive to repair, and adversely affects the environment.

Visiting the Montgomery County Fire Department and learning about it's procedures

With our grant money, we are working on upgrading the components of FICSS and test on larger scales to increase FICSS’s efficiency and accuracy. Specifically, we plan to spend $750 on five new transmitters with larger ranges and an interconnected network.  We will also buy more accurate and reliable infrared sensors, which would cost us $3,000. Then, we plan to use $500 to test the materials by creating fire to detect and compensate the fire stations we used as resources for their assistance and support. We expect to spend another $500 on expert consultancy fees and $200 on travel cost.  Finally, the remaining $300 is kept for miscellaneous or unanticipated expenses.

Testing FICSS under simulated weather conditions


So exciting seeing how their project has progressed since our National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE) last June. We are looking forward to learning about their their progress in the coming months.

-Mission Control


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