STEM-In-Action Fall Follow-Up: Aquatech
Well, its certainly been awhile! Last time we caught up on the eCYBER Blog, we were fresh off our National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE) and soaking in all the STEM fun! In case you're just now tuning in, 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. Typically we award this honorary grant to five teams, but this year ten teams took home the prestigious award. The first team we're catching up with comes all the way from Chantilly, Virginia - let's chat with Aquatech!
Hello! We are team Aquatech, a group of students from Chantilly, Virginia. Our team consists of Saranya, Anish, Remi, and Advaith. Last year, we competed in the eCybermission competition as four 8th graders from Virginia.
Everyone knows that one family member that takes forever in the shower. Maybe it’s your sibling, one of your parents, or even you! Well our team is dedicated to fixing that! What may seem like a trivial household problem actually has its roots in the extremely crucial concept of water conservation. After realizing that such a big problem had a simple solution, we created a device that could track water usage and alert people to exit the shower. This year, we hope to refine our device, program a new app, and distribute samples to the community.
We got involved in Ecybermission through a family friend of Saranya’s, and were interested in participating immediately. Putting together a team wasn’t too hard since we all were already friends and participated in other STEM competitions together before.When deciding what problem to address in our community, each one of us came up with a few ideas and discussed them together. Once we thought of addressing the over usage of shower water, we all knew that this project was what we wanted to do. This problem applies to so many people and we thought we could make a difference.
Our solution was a smart shower tracker that alerts the user to exit the shower. We also wanted our device to be as eco-friendly as possible, so we decided to use a hydro-electric generator to recreate most of the electricity, using a lipo battery as a backup energy source. Our device tracks how much water is used using a flow meter, which utilizes a hall effect sensor. We were then able to display the water’s gallon count to show up on our phones using an app called Blynk, which could connect to the Arduino using both Bluetooth and Wifi.
We hope to improve the efficiency and the ease of use of our product by custom making most of our parts. By making most of our products ourselves, we can make our device more unique. We have reached out to experts and explored 3D printing as an option. We have also looked into making our own hall-effect sensor by using a paddle and a hall-effect sensor chip that could plug into an Arduino.
With a new opportunity, we also know that there will be a new set of problems for us to face. We’ve already been working hard on the plans for our final design and hope to build and distribute the products soon.
Our eCYBERMISSION students continue to amaze us with their innovation and dedication to making their communities a better place to live. We look forward to catching up with Aquatech again in the Spring, to see how their project is evolving.