Monday, December 21, 2015

Creative Motion

Today the class had the privilege of having Paige Edwards come in and present on her life with a prosthetic and problems that she has run into with her prosthetic, and recommendations for where to go in the design in the future.

After the presentation, class chugged along and hand group delved into introducing motors to the hand, and starting from scratch to make something unique and functional, forgetting the current design of the hand.

Based on the meeting with a software engineer who works specifically in education, Paul's group is researching price and purpose behind different programs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Print Success

We have printed our first successful redesigned hand! The second hand is heading to print and will be ready for assembly next class. Next step is for a group to test and compare the redesigned hand to the E-Nable hand.

EYE had a very successful program this past weekend! 128 kids were exposed to engineering ideas and worked hands-on with projects that involved natural disasters. Today they reflected on the program and what they can do next time.

Paul's group is reviewing and outlining the project as a whole, and identifying problems they may run in with regards to programming. Moving forward, they are going to set up a meeting with a programmer to help them identify ways to implement their solutions.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Collaboration Station

Paul's Group holds discussion with Mr. Gallagher
Starting the week off on a strong note, EYE is testing the different station activities before Saturday's program. While registration continues to fill, organizing groups and volunteers are the last tasks to complete.

Cam, Andrew, and Hannah's group's redesign has been sent to the 3-D printer. The rest of the groups have been divided to tackle the hand in chunks, not as a whole redesign. The groups are focusing on the thumb, and grip strength. More meetings with doctors are coming up to get a second opinion on the design of the hand and the functionality.

For the printing job, Maddie has taken over as Head of Printing, and has show great leaps in understanding and manipulating the printers.

Paul' group has been looking into the coding language they desire to use. They spent the class researching the ideal medium to use, specifically Bluetooth vs. WiFi.
EYE leaders Noelle and Grace test their saltwater battery
Hand Group redesign

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Building Up

Quick update! Today, the smaller hand groups showed their new design ideas to the rest of the groups. All initial redesigns are finished and printing has begun. Groups are working on their second redesign.
Paul's group is on learning how to code in Python and Swift in preparation for their project.

EYE did a write-up explanation of each station for their Saturday program rapidly approaching. Everything is moving along smoothly and on track to be ready December 12th!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Printing Progress

EYE continues ordering supplies for their upcoming Saturday program, and today they organized their bank account.

The hand group is finalizing the Inventor designs of their redesigned hand. Groups race to print the first successful redesigned hand as the deadline approaches.

Paul's group presented the competing technologies and next class they will finalize their problem statement.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chugging Along

Paul's Group organizes a presentation
Before the Thanksgiving break, Paul's group researched existing technologies that may interfere with their project ideas. Over break, they will prepare a presentation to give to the class on their research. With this presentation, the class will see their progress and the group will have a more in depth idea of what the solution cannot be, and where they could possibly go in the future.

Hand design has been successful, the groups worked more today and are ready to begin printing after break. This will transition into the small groups competing against each other for the best redesign and also a better collaboration process between the groups.

EYE group order supplies and set up registration for their Saturday program that is rapidly approaching.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Moving Forward

Today the hand design group is focusing on redesigning the hand and making their new designs on Inventor. Using the open source files from eNable, we are hoping to have three different designs for the hand by the end of next week. All groups are close to beginning to print out their designs.

The EYE group is ordering supplies for their natural disaster activities, where students will be able to see the effects of natural disasters.

Paul's group pitched their problem statements to the class, and everyone in the class gave them feedback. General consensus is that they have correctly labeled problems.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Update 10/27/15

This Saratoga student has a hand, but that doesn't mean he can't wear ours.

Paul and Mr. Gallagher discussed plans for the lock.

Today we finally took our quizzes on the presentations so our productive time was shorter, however, we still managed to get some tasks done.

The hand group printed out another hand in full size that we will ship out soon. The hand group also got some more emails sent out to doctors and will got some meetings set up to talk with them about prosthetic hands. The Machinery team helped out the lock and key group with some 3D printing today.

The lock and key group finished up the Inventor files and discussed some more market research and technical plans after reviewing results of our initial experimental survey.

All in all, things are looking good for the future of both projects. The lock and key group has a tangible new product in our plastic key prototypes and the hand group is getting some real direction with their talks with doctors and feedback from a hand recipient.  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Update 10/24/15

Yesterday was an exciting class for both groups. Our project manager Max selflessly postponed our quizzes which allowed everyone to get a lot done.

In the hand group, Ross, Cameron, Gray and Adam worked on one of the 3D printers and are preparing a hand to send out to Enable. Andrew and Reese emailed twelve doctors to see if we could meet with them to talk about our prosthetic hands and to find out what issues are with current prosthetic hands. Steve and Jackson continued to do research and come up with ideas for the project. Hannah, Maddie and Ross worked on getting feedback from Brandon who currently has an Enable hand.

Ross kindly provided us with a summary of Brandon's feedback and what it means for the project: "His main problem is functionally the hand is worthless; it is unable to preform any basic hand movements or functions. It was unable to grasp and hold objects quickly and consistently. The hand from a comfort level is perfect according to Brandon and that design can remain the same. So our mission is now to redesign the control and movement system to better the hands capabilities and functionality."

Not to be outdone, the lock and key group is working on some market research of a different sort. The group is creating a survey for homeowners which will be distributed online and will gather information on their opinion of current mechanical and electronic locks and home security in general. Others are still working on creating CAD files for the various key designs for 3D print prototyping. We also happened to brainstorm some more lock ideas and are still waiting for the lock we ordered to arrive.

That's all for now. Next week our class will meet on Tuesday and Thursday. Look for more updates then.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Update 10/21/15

What a time to be alive.

Today was a very exciting day for the EDD class. Both groups have now finished their initial presentations and are getting started on their real work.

Now, the groups are making quizzes to test the knowledge of what people know from the presentations, particularly the one on the human hand. A few members of the hand group also doing research on orthopedic surgeons to ask them questions related to prosthetics. The other members of the hand group are coming up with and testing ideas to modify and improve the printed hand.

The lock and key group had a very productive meeting about key design. We are drawing the various key designs on CAD software and are planning to order metal 3D-printed versions of one or two of them from Shapeways, as well as ABS prototypes from our in-house 3D printers. We also have some ideas on aspects of the lock design, and have ordered a mechanical deadbolt for reverse engineering purposes.

It may not sound like a lot, but most people in the class would tell you that they sure are busy. That's it for today. See you on Friday.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Update 10/15/2015

The hand group is hard at work getting a quality control hand made.

Things are heating up as we finish up initial research and get ready to really get our projects started.

In the key group, Paul and Lucas are hard at work creating the presentation on issues with the hand project and areas of the field that have already been worked on. Nick and Jake continue research on lock and key technology. Eli has largely finished his presentation and focused on PR tasks today. The group is discussing technologies other than contact smart cards that we might use, including fingerprint scanners.

Today the hand group did the same jobs they’ve been doing.  The hand anatomy research group did more research on how the human hand works and put that into a presentation for our class to learn as well. Another group finished the presentation on the key research, did more work on the quiz, and helped a little with the 3D-printing. The 3D printer group fixed some problems they were having with the 3D printer and continued to print the prosthetic hands. They also started to put together a prosthetic hand that they printed out and got the fingers all done. The hand group is working hard and expect to get a bunch of prosthetic hands printed soon.

That's all for today. We'll be back next week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Update 10/13/15

Paul and his key group.

The hand group is busy fixing their 3D printer.

One of our beautiful 3D printers.

Uh oh.

This is what troubleshooting looks like.

Getting to work.

Our chief financial officer.

Today in EDD, we continued work on our presentations and got most of them done.

The key group, Paul in particular, is planning to decimate the hand group when we present on issues with their project (and vice versa). That, however, is a story for next post. Today Jake and Nick worked on mechanical locks, Paul and Lucas on the hand project critique, and Eli on electronic lock technology. We will have to make quizzes for the other group (and Mr. Gallagher's freshmen?) next class.

The hand group report from Adam follows below.

  • Adam - Did some more research on the anatomy on the hand and tested MIT’s Inventor Video Game.
  • Maddie - "Making a dolphin for Mr. Gallagher"
  • Hannah - Did more research on the hand ligaments in the wrist and is currently working on the PowerPoint presentation
  • Steve - He’s gotten studying done on the metacarpal bones and the carpal bones
  • Jackson - Research on forearm muscles
  • Kevin - Worked on key group issues and MIT Video Game Testing.
  • Reese - Made a new group called the Brain Trust and helping with 3D printer problems
  • Cameron - Assisting in troubleshooting 3D printer problems.
  • Ross - "Doing a survey for a guy" and assisting with 3D printer problems.
  • Gray - Troubleshooting 3D printer problems.
  • Andrew - Made a new group called the Brain Trust and helping Gray and Cameron
As you can see, the 3D printer problems are consuming a lot of the hand group's resources.

That's a wrap for now. We'll be back on Thursday.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Update 10/8/15

This is what engineering looks like.
As you can probably tell from the above photos, today was an especially productive day. Ross created a Twitter account for the class, @sshsedd2016 (same for Instagram), and both groups made progress in their research.

Here in the lock and key group, Paul and Lucas are researching competitors to the Enable hand, such as partially 3D-printed robotic prosthetics (or bionics, if you will). At last check, Nick and Kevin were watching a YouTube video about hacking RFID cards and I am finishing up my research on electronic locks. One thing I noticed is that current electronic locks are much more expensive than mechanical ones - something we will be trying to change.

Today's Hand Report comes from Adam and follows below.

This week, we will be researching more today and next Tuesday while continuing to make the presentations. We plan to show the other group our presentations and present the patent research so we don’t steal anyone’s patents.

Today’s accomplishments:

  • Adam: did more research and tested a video game
  • Maddie: did more research and tested a video game
  • Hannah: did more research on the hand
  • Jackson: did more research on the hand and worked on the presentation
  • Steve: did more research on the hand and worked on the presentation
  • Kevin: got not much done
  • Andrew: Did more research on electronic key patent, worked on the presentation as well as made 5 forums on central desktop for project management and clear up conversation
  • Ross: finished “Ross stuff”
  • Gray: 3D-printed some stuff
  • Cameron: assisted in 3D-printing
That's all for today folks. Have a great day and don't forget to hit up our new social media accounts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Update 10/6/2015

Here in the EDD class, we are hard at work on our new projects.

Today's Hand Report comes from Adam. After a weekend meeting with Joey from Enable, the hand group has begun printing test hands and will be sending one of them to Enable for quality control. Ross is working on making our class an official chapter of Enable. Gray has been designated as the "3D printer master" and Adam is working on general research. The rest of the hand group is working on either a presentation on hand anatomy, or patent checking for the key group.

The lock and key group has a lot of research to do as well. In addition to patent checking for the other group, we have split up the task of our own presentation. I am researching current electronic lock systems, Perrin is researching the future of this technology, Jake is looking at mechanical keys, and Paul is working on patent checks and research for the hand group.

Well, that's a wrap for today. Look for another update on Thursday.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Groups Form, Research Begins

Our EDD class has split into two groups. One group is working on the prosthetic hand project and the other is working on the contact chip key project. Both groups are just beginning research and the hand group has begun 3D-printing an existing model hand.

Here in the PR department, we have enlisted Adam Bollinger as the writer for the prosthetics group and Gray Morrison as photographic assistant.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Keys, Hands, and MagLev Cars: The 2015-16 EDD Class Begins

The school year has started and the 2015-16 Engineering Design and Development class is getting down to business. At last count there are 21 students in the class. We elected Max Pawlick as Project Manager, Reece Napierski as Chief Financial Officer, and Eli Fisher, myself, as Public Relations Officer. Mr. Gallagher also appointed Andrew deVries to help the rest of the class with our collaboration software, Central Desktop. We have seen a huge array of project ideas presented with costs ranging from a few dollars per unit to several thousand. Some of the most popular ideas include:
  • An electronic contact-chip based key that could be stored and handled like a regular mechanical one, presented by Paul Harrington.
  • Applying a MagLev system to personal automobiles and the existing road network. If done as presented, this would be a more research-based project than what has been typical for EDD. It was presented by Perrin Jones and Kaitlyn O'Donnell.
  • A system of sensors that would provide information about the spaces available in a parking lot or garage, presented by Lucas Beitzel.
Other technically interesting ideas that did not receive as many votes included a store checkout system based on millimeter wave detection and an autonomous sailing system for catamarans.

Interestingly, Mr. Gallagher brought forth another idea to the class that he received from a former EDD student. He introduced us to an organization called Enable that 3D-prints prosthetic hands for people who can't afford more expensive versions of them through a worldwide network of volunteers. Our EDD class would join this network and work on improving the design of the prosthetics while also producing prosthetics using our 3D printer. Most students were enthusiastic about this idea. However, Mr. Gallagher suggested that the class should consider making this our only project, and some students objected to devoting the entire class to this single project. It seems that we will most likely undertake the Enable project, but it remains to be seen whether the class will work on other projects as well and what those projects might be.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The End of the AutoGarden

Time has come and passed, decisions have been made, both tactical and strategically, the end is near, and according to some, according to the very, very select few who know what they are talking about, it has been said, that the time for the Auto-Garden subset of EDD class, is now, and the shining sun beyond the horizons of the presentation, is nothing but imminent victory.  We have successful integrated our electronics with our microcontroller, and all systems are set to go.  Our system functions as follows:
 The Arduino microcontroller sends signals opening and closing relays turning on and off pumps and lights, which are set into an aesthetically lamp design.  The stem of this lamp houses all wires, protecting all but the pump leads from water and a short circuit.  Where a normal lamp is positioned right side up, ours is upside down.  Here is a picture.

Nitinol Final Update

The Stirling engine group has been hard at work. We have finalized our design.
A brief overview of the flow of energy that makes our machine work: The waste
heat leaving the car's combustion engine causes the Stirling engine to run. This
then creates electrical energy that goes to the charge controller. The energy
flows from the charge controller to a battery, charging the battery. The energy
that leaves the battery goes to the power inverter where it is converted from
direct current to alternating current. Alternating current enables us to power
our heaters. We added new parts to the project, including the Stirling box. This
is an insulating box with openings that allow for the radiator fluid to flow
through it (we are capturing heat from radiator fluid to power the Stirling
engine). The hot side of the Stirling engine is also in this box. Inside of the
box, a copper tube carries the fluid from one side to the other while letting
some of the heat transfer to the engine. It also prevents the rest of the car's
interior from getting too hot. We have been preparing for the final
presentation. I have been in charge of making the PowerPoint. People from my
team have been contributing to the PowerPoint as well.  The Stirling engine team
has been building a prototype for our machine. We are giving our final
prevention today on June 22.

End of the year - in the words of our Fearless Leader

 Throughout this year, our team has achieved more than I could've imagined
we would.
 The development of an eco-friendly car heater, the creation of an
autonomous garden, and the expansion of last year's Engineering Young
Engineers(EYE) have all taken place in this year's class. At the start of the
year we made up two separate groups, the continuation of EYE and what we called
the nitinol group. After consideration, we split into three groups, EYE, the
Auto-garden group, and the Stirling Engine group.
    In EYE, we have expanded
our outreach to new areas outside of Saratoga Springs while also increasing our
influence in our home town. We have also created new tools for expansion,
allowing new schools to adopt our programs on their own. Developments like this
will allow the transitions in the future to proceed smoothly.
    In the
Auto-garden group, we have developed an aesthetically pleasing, autonomous
gardening system. With help from local gardening store owners and New York City
residents we have created a prototype that will raise a Moth Orchid with almost
no human interaction.
    In the Stirling Engine group we tackled the problem
of heating your car quickly during the winter. Using an environmentally friendly
heat engine to store the wasted energy from a combustion engine, we developed a
clean way to instantly heat your car.
    The Engineering Design Development
class of 2015 has overcome a lot of problem throughout the year. From the
beginning of the year, we were lacking the specific resource time.  On a
crunched time schedule, we worked hard and managed to do some remarkable things.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday April 15th, Nitinol

In the hydroponics group we are currently moving on with our second phase design. This design will be a lamp that will be designed to grow an orchid hydroponically.  Building this product will be the culmination of our entire year and will require us to use everything we have learned over the course of this project.  In this design, the electronics, nutrient solution, and pump will all be located in a modified flower pot.  At the rim of this pot we will put our flood-drain table which will support the orchid.  We purchased an LED bulb that we will screw into a mount that is traditionally used for a regular lightbulb.  One of the ways we are considering maximizing the light that gets to the orchid is lining the inside of the lampshade with tin foil.  This would have the added benefit of keeping the UV radiation from being dispersed around the room.  
In addition to working on designing and building our project, we are also continuing are market research.  We have gone to florists in our area and asked them if they think our project potentially has a market with their current customers.  We are also reaching out to various people who currently live in cities to see if they would be interested in autonomously growing a plant in their homes.  We are reaching our especially to those in cities because they typically have limited space and light.  We hope that these contacts can give us a better understanding of our market.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26th EYE

Educating Young Engineers has continued work on their March 28th “Engineering Athletics” Saturday Program at Ballard Elementary. Registration is almost full and all preliminary logistics have been completed to ensure the success of another program in our partnership. Ballard Elementary’s first LEGO Club session is drawing to a close after many weeks of teaching the young engineers through problem based and teamwork challenges. During the second session EYE will not be in attendance so that the parents can run the LEGO Club for many years without the assistance of EYE. Geyser Road Elementary’s Science Extravaganza introduced students to EYE while they designed their own slow racer on a peg board.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19th EYE

EYE is continuing the mission to create interest in STEM fields in elementary students through LEGO clubs and Saturday programs.  EYE is also working with high school students to create an EYE club and working with Dorothy Nolan to integrate WeDo LEGO technology into the fourth grade curriculum.  A new session of LEGO club has started at Dorothy Nolan and EYE continues to support the club in teaching engineering through teamwork and problem solving.  LEGO clubs have also been started at Ballard Elementary School as well as Geyser Road Elementary School.  EYE has continued to work with Ballard Elementary on the second Saturday Engineering Program the school will be running, and planning is in the final stages.  At the high school, volunteers are being recruited for the first EYE club meeting on March 19th, where students can become involved in designing and testing activities as well as working on the logistics of the EYE website and getting involved for the future of EYE.  This club will hopefully allow the continued expansion of EYE Saturday programs and LEGO clubs to other school districts and get the future leaders of the organization started early for the coming years.  EYE is also working with Dorothy Nolan fourth grade teachers to integrate LEGO WeDo programming software into the curriculum to teach the simple machines unit, which will allow students to get an early idea of how circuit design works.  

March 19th EYE

EYE is continuing the mission to create interest in STEM fields in elementary students through LEGO clubs and Saturday programs.  EYE is also working with high school students to create an EYE club and working with Dorothy Nolan to integrate WeDo LEGO technology into the fourth grade curriculum.  A new session of LEGO club has started at Dorothy Nolan and EYE continues to support the club in teaching engineering through teamwork and problem solving.  LEGO clubs have also been started at Ballard Elementary School as well as Geyser Road Elementary School.  EYE has continued to work with Ballard Elementary on the second Saturday Engineering Program the school will be running, and planning is in the final stages.  At the high school, volunteers are being recruited for the first EYE club meeting on March 19th, where students can become involved in designing and testing activities as well as working on the logistics of the EYE website and getting involved for the future of EYE.  This club will hopefully allow the continued expansion of EYE Saturday programs and LEGO clubs to other school districts and get the future leaders of the organization started early for the coming years.  EYE is also working with Dorothy Nolan fourth grade teachers to integrate LEGO WeDo programming software into the curriculum to teach the simple machines unit, which will allow students to get an early idea of how circuit design works.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

March 13th, EYE


March 13th, EYE


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3rd, Nitinol

The nitinol group has realized that nitinol is extremely difficult to work with, both theoretically and experimentally. We have decided to use a stirling engine instead of a nitinol engine to increase the efficiency of a car. Car engines (internal combustion engines) are at best 20% efficient. The energy that’s not used to make a car move is left over in the form of heat, which exists the car as exhaust. Using a stirling engine, we hope to turn this waste heat into electric energy. Stirling engines have shown to work better than nitinol engines, but still use a temperature differential to generate kinetic energy. This kinetic energy will be switched to electric, which will be used to power electric heaters. If all goes well, people will be able to get into their car on a cold morning and get blasted with heat as soon as they start their car, as well as have an increased efficiency of their car engines.

Mach 3rd, HydroGarden

As a group we recently constructed the walls for our grow-tent by cutting the Panda Film and mounting it on a PVC frame.  We would have liked to have moved past this step by now, but we were forced to special order our PVC fittings due to lack of local availability.  We are juggling our proof of concept model and aesthetically pleasing model, so we were able to keep ourselves otherwise occupied.  For this second model, we are working on designs that will target people in urban areas that wish to grow plants with their limited resources.  The goal  is to be non-intrusive and aesthetically pleasing while still being able to grow a plant.  We realize, if we wish to make a high-quality product, we have to  establish a relationship with the consumer.  As a result, we are planning a trip to New York City.    On this trip, we will visit florists, hoping to find answers to our questions regarding marketability of our product.  We hope to gain some valuable insight from experts in plant growing industry.  In preparation, we have been reaching out to individuals who live in urban areas and asking them their opinions on our product and if they believe that it would be a marketable product.  If you have any valuable information about living in an urban area that may be helpful, we would greatly appreciate your input.  Please contact our Project Manager, Rob Szpak at,
This is some of the information we are looking for,
Would you like to have plants in your home?
Do you have available windows for natural lighting?
Would you like to have plants in your office?
Would you rather have plants if they were lower maintenance?
Were they difficult to keep alive and healthy in relatively confined spaces?
What would make having a plant easier for you?
Is there anyone you can refer us to who has an interest in growing plants in an urban setting?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Feb. 25 Hydro Garden

   We are currently working to finish constructing the tent with the PVC parts. We will need to be able to regulate fans, pumps, and lights, succeeding in this will require the interfacing of an external timer and our Arduinio Microcontroller.  Components we are using in our system include, a 555 timer, 5v relays  and an LED display to show temperature and time. In the near future, we are going to begin planting the lettuce seeds and do our first round of testing.

Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13th EYE

Quite a bit has happened with EYE in the past week! On Wednesday we met with representatives from the Ballard Elementary to begin our process of moving forward with their second Saturday Engineering Program, which will be held on March 28th. We have continued work on our February 28th “Music in Engineering” Saturday Program, securing and meeting with our stations leaders as well as beginning to gather our high school volunteers. We were also contacted by professors of education from Skidmore College who were interested in having their students volunteer at our program as a way to observe how engineering concepts can be integrated into other subjects . The next step in planning is to finalize our high school volunteers and finish putting together all of the activity bags. Also this week, EYE attended the Division Street STEM Expo and showcased our Slow Racer activity where students have to move a ping-pong ball down a pegboard as slowly as possible. All of the students were very excited to participate and the only complaint we received was that there weren’t enough pegboards for all of the foot traffic we had! On Saturday, EYE had a table at the Saratoga Reads LEGO Fest where students could either build a LEGO Maze or create a structure to survive the “drop-test”. Both of these events really helped EYE spread our name and reach a new set of students! On Wednesday of this week, EYE had the final meeting of the second session of Dorothy Nolan LEGO Club. The problem this week was to build a tower as tall as possible, without any human support. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10th HydroGarden

Lots of progress was made over the weekend.  We have picked up the PVC for our tent and written out the code for the lights, pump and fans.   As we continue moving forward with the build , we also move forward with our conceptual idea.  One thought was that people who live confined areas, might be drawn to low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing  plants.  This would entail reengineering our idea, and replacing practical components like our grow tent, with something less invasive.  We are working on finishing our first design so that we can improve upon it, making our next prototypes better products.

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 6th EYE

Educating Young Engineers has been working diligently in preparation for the upcoming  “Music in Engineering” Saturday Program at Saratoga Springs High School. We have completed the distribution of flyers, activity plans and supplies to schools. This Saturday Program will need both teacher and student volunteers to assist the EYE team with each station, this recruiting  process has been initiated and will be completed in the coming week. Dorothy Nolan will be finishing their 3-5 LEGO club on February 11th and their upcoming session for K-2 student will require new Lego challenges, so students can have a exciting and instructional experience. In addition, Ballard Elementary school has contacted EYE with intentions of starting their own LEGO club,  EYE plans to offer a lending hand in nuturing Ballard's program into existance. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2nd Nitinol

The nitinol group has been working extensively trying to find solutions to the various setbacks we have been facing. We have been brainstorming, and our current idea is to model an engine based on the Minto wheel. We are going to start designing this via sketching and Inventor after we do more research. Our projected Minto wheel design is the most efficient and practical design we have thought of yet. We are also trying to get the 3-D printer in working order so that we can print 3-D parts whenever we need to. We have also been looking into doing more fundraisers. Things are looking up for the nitinol group. Exciting developments should continue to come with our new ideas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Students Engineering a way to a Better Future

Over the past week EYE continued work on planning the next Saturday Program. We began to gather teacher volunteers to lead the various planned stations, reaching out to  faculty from the music department to go along with our “Music in Engineering” theme. Also this week, EYE will officially open registration for our Saturday Program by giving fliers to each elementary school within the district, to be distributed to every student.  To promote this, we have sent out our own invitation to parents whose children participated in past EYE events. We plan to continue testing and finalizing the stations for the program in the next two weeks. The next few weeks leading up to the event will certainly be very busy, but we’re up for the challenge!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pulling for Success

Redirecting our efforts towards Nitinol's application again, we have begun to look for a way to create cheaper, more easily attainable solar energy by combining Nitinol and Solar heater technology.  We have recently ordered an engine and are currently trying to improve upon its pulley system, which we hope, will drastically increase its efficiency. We seek to do this by 3D printing a new pulleys.  These pulleys we have designed in such a way, that friction between the Nitinol and rotating wheel should be less.  We are also considering purchasing new pulleys, explicitly marketed as low friction pulleys. This will give an idea of where our project stands in terms of energy scales. In other news we are reestablishing contact with Kellogg’s Research Labs and beginning to discuss their potential role in helping us to build and design the Nitinol aspect of this project, they have much to offer in the way of experience. We are working hard and there seems to be a lot of potential on the horizon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update on Educating Young Engineers!

EYE is currently working on coordinating future Saturday programs at Saratoga, with the next date set to be February 28 th.  The new programs will have a different theme; music.  Activities and logistics of the program are currently in the development phase.  We aim to create activities that successfully incorporate music into engineering-based challenges, exposing elementary level children to design processes and ideas that they would not otherwise encounter.  We have been working with Shen on running an initial “All about Engineering” Saturday program.  We also seek to reconnect with Ballard school in South Glens Falls in order to run a Saturday program later this year, following up on a previous Saturday program.  EYE continues to support weekly LEGO clubs at both Dorothy Nolan and Division Street and continued efforts are being made to become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 16th 2015, HydroGarden

  Things are really getting underway with our autonomous Hydroponic garden.  Materials are in and building has commenced.  Students scramble back and forth  across the room, the grow-tent is taking shape and programmers are learning new code in order to interface our electronics with Arduino microcontrollers.  Decisions have been made in regards to which electronics we will use, LEDs, pumps, aerators and fans were delivered over break, while microcontrollers are on their way.  We have also ordered relays for use in switching components that operate at higher voltage.  As everything begins to speed up and take shape, we are very excited about the future of this project.