STEM-In-Action Spotlight: Mission WaterSmart

Last week we caught up with one of our STEM-In-Action grant teams to see how their projects were progressing and this week we’re at it again! If you didn’t know already, 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 this week we’re catching up with Mission WaterSmart.

No More Waste

Hi! We’re Mission WaterSmart from Illinois. We’re Shivani, Ahana, and Manasvi, three sophomores from the Illinois Math and Science Academy, in Aurora, Illinois. We are working hard to solve a major problem in our community. Our journey with eCYBERMISSION began a little over a year ago.  We heard eCYBERMISSION was a competition where we could turn our ideas into reality, so, about a year ago, our team began the process of developing our solution to a problem plaguing our community.

Our team is addressing the problem of water wastage. With water being a scarce resource, along with America’s water footprint being huge in comparison to other countries, it’s clear that America’s water wastage is a large issue. After speaking to officials in our neighborhood, our team realized that many communities, including our own, were looking for ways to reduce water wastage and encourage water-saving habits. Our team found that 39% of water used in households came from faucets and showers, so we separated the wastage occurring into 2 categories: behavioral wastage and negligence. In addition, there was also the issue of cold water remaining in the hot water pipes, forcing people to waste water as they waited for it to heat up.

With American water wastage being a large problem, we wanted to find a solution. For our solution, we needed to include two things: a heater and a way to encourage water saving habits. In order to do this, we created a SmartFaucet device. It heats up the cold water resting in the hot water pipes, has a touch sensor to encourage water-saving habits, and is affordable and easy to install.

Thanks to eCYBERMISSION’s STEM-in-Action Grant, we will be able to improve our existing prototype and create a more affordable product that the everyday consumer can use. The money given by the grant will be used to create better, more efficient parts for our product as well as patenting our idea.

Thank you all so much for reading! We hope you continue to keep up with our project as we move to its later stages. Below we have some pictures of the progress we are making with our project design!

Figure 1: This is a picture of the new design we are creating for our device. We have put the elements of our device in a big pipe so that they are all sitting vertically inside, and we put the electronics on a box outside of this pipe for convenience and safety measures. This structure is more compact, and will hopefully be easier to use for consumers. 

(Picture Credit goes to David Hernandez, IMSA, Aurora,IL)

Figure 2: Here we have some pictures of us working on our device design. We are fixing electronics into the box and adjusting the heater that is at the top.

-Team Mission WaterSmart

Exciting progress for Team Mission WaterSmart! Can’t wait to see what updates you have for us in the coming months.

-Mission Control


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