Sunday, June 29, 2008

Heavy Metal: Amped on Wind Power

Today was yet another fun packed day. We rolled out of bed, threw on our "Heavy Metal" emblazoned t-shirts and ran outside to catch the bus to the Boston Museum of Science. We did not know exactly what we were in for but only that we were being split in to groups and competing against each other in some sort of competition. It is getting late and I am getting tired so I will get right to the details.

30 teams. 30 garbage cans. 1 goal. Each team was to create their own wind turbine using nothing but cardboard, foam sheets, clothes hangers, PVC tubing, a metal rod, trash bags, rope, and of course.

My team went 6th being the first to represent Saratoga. We made it almost to the top and were the first team to lift off the ground. It was awesome and the people in my group could not have been more fun. Just a side not I did Saratoga the honor of writing the Garden Consultants web address on the turbine (nothing like free advertising, which I have also been doing on chalkboards all over campus). My team did well but not as well as Jeff's

Jeff and his team made one of the fastest and most successful turbines on the floor and even beet the professional Design Squad team. They came close to first but no cigar.

Also successful was Juliana with her wind sock turbine. Though completely unconventional and overall awkwardness her teams interesting contraption drew cheers from the crowd when it miraculously worked. To be perfectly honest I thought it would just break but it threw us all for a loop when it took hold of the wind.

We had a fun but long day and I can already tell that this is one of my weaker posts. We have all had a great time being here at MIT for the past few days and working on the Garden Consultant this year.

Don't worry. This is by no means my last post but it is far past my bed time so I will talk to you all tomorrow. Thanks for your support and good night.

- Elliott

Friday, June 27, 2008

Invention to Venture

This morning we had the honor of listening to Sharon C. Ballard, the president and CEO of EnableVentures, Inc. speak about entrepreneurship and the process of turning our ideas into money making products. Though the rest of the Saratoga Springs InvenTeam and I missed part one of the three part session we were lucky to be able to speak to Mrs. Ballard prior to the start of todays events where she caught us up on what we missed including how to make a great Elevator Pitch and in addition, Mrs. Ballard was the coach of our break out session which gave us even more time with this "Invention to Venture" expert.

We are only half way through todats "Invention to Venture" session and we can not wait to see what we will be up to after lunch. Be sure to check back in to the blog to see what ours and all other InvenTeam's are up to and we will be sure to post again soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

P.S. - The Garden Consultant is ONLINE!!!

P.S. - Great news! The Garden Consultant is now online and ready to use at Feel free to register for a new account and start letting the Garden Consultant take the guess work out of home gardening today!

Once again, thank you everyone so much for your help and support. We could not have done it without you.

The EurekaFest Presentation & Graduation

Today was the big day for the Saratoga InvenTeam. Not only did we all graduate this morning (other than Tom Hays, our resident Junior) but as soon as we crossed the stage and had our diploma we darted to the team Suburban to head down to MIT.

Today we managed to graduate at 10:00 and present at MIT at 2:00 making today the longest and most hectic day in our InvenTeam's history. Now that we are all back in our dorm rooms in the Baker House at MIT we can sit back and relax for a few hours before we wake up tomorrow morning and head back to the Stata Center to learn about marketing our invention.

So far it has been a blast and as I sit here typing up this blog post it is finally sinking in that I graduated from high school today. Even though classes ended two weeks ago many other InvenTeam members and I were still at school from 10 to 8 everyday working on the Garden Consultant and putting the final touches on our system.

It has been an exciting year and having my senior year marked as the year of the InvenTeam was just icing on the cake. Looking back I could not be more happy with the time I had at Saratoga Springs High School and working on this InvenTeam project.

We can not thank the Lemelson Foundation, MIT, Bruce Hodge, and everyone else who generously donated their time, resources, and efforts to help and support our team. Also, we can not thank our teacher, Mr. Gallagher, enough for the awesome teacher and mentor he has been not only this year but since my fellow InvenTeam members and I had him freshmen year. The friendships that have been made through this program will last for the rest of my life and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had through high school and during this past year.

Jeff Pawlick, a member of our InvenTeam and Saluditorian at Saratoga High gave a fantastic speech this morning about the importance of people in your life and thanking those that helped us allong the way to graduation and where we are today. It is programs like this and people like Mr. Gallagher that truly change lives and make a difference in the world. I am so lucky to have had both in one year.

In closing, I hope you take the time to watch this presentation. We poured our hearts and our time into this project and we could not be more happy with how it has come out. Once again, we thank you all for your help and support and I look forward to keeping in touch with our readers and future Saratoga InvenTeam's for years to come.

Thank you -

Elliott Poppel
Project Manager
Saratoga Springs InvenTeam 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunlight Sensors Housing

Shown above is the new housing for our sunlight sensors. This stake was created using Autodesk Inventor and as you can see, the photoresistor is docked in the top of the housing where it can easily measure sunlight. Multiple sensors like this shown will be strung together to allow a user to find out how much sunlight their growing environment receives.
Thank you Mr. Frauzenburg for donating your time and your supplies in to making the housing for the Garden Consultant sensors.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

This weekend, friends and members of the InvenTeam participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The Saratoga InvenTeam team was able to raise over $400 dollars in donations. We had a great time hanging out, grilling, and walking around the track from 6:00 PM to 7:00 the next morning. Hopefully we have begun a new tradition, and look forward to creating an even bigger team next year. Thanks to everyone who participated or made a donation!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Relay for Life

We have been very busy over the past few weeks, trying to both fund raise for this weekend's Relay for Life, and work on our InvenTeam project. As Friday was rapidly approaching we became nervous about reaching our fundraising goal, and emailed our friends at MIT. Within the hour they had responded, making a very generous donation to our Relay for Life team. We are so grateful for all the donations we have received. This is a great cause that has effected many of us in one way or another, and its great to be able to give back to our community through this event.

If you are in the area and would like to stop by, the Saratoga Relay for Life will be taking place at East Side Rec in Saratoga Springs. The event will start off with the Survivor's Lap at 6:30 PM this Friday, and will continue through the night and into Saturday morning. We are so excited to take part in this event, and are so grateful to all those who have donated to the cause.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

More Pictures from the Cornell Trip

Here are some great pictures courtesy of Craig Cramer from Cornell University. As you can see we had a great time and acomplished a ton while meeting with Mr. Mazza and Mr. Cramer. To read more about our trip check out our previous post.