geekStarter Teams Updates – May 2018

Curious what geekStarter’s high school teams have been up to over the past few weeks? Here are their recent updates. Read on…

FPV drones – We have been reaching out to various clubs, classes and programs to facilitate promotional videos using aerial drone footage. Also, our school is undergoing a renovation and we have been asked to capture some footage of the newly renovated spaces. One of our team members is using skills learned in the photography class to edit together the promo videos. The videos will be used for various reasons, including the school website.
Rocket with self deploying parachute and gas sensors – Altitude sensor is programmed and ready to be installed in rocket. We are currently building the rocket capsule housing for the microprocessor and the self deploying parachute. The gas/CO2 sensor is working and will be used in classroom lesson planning in conjunction with a ‘Let’s Talk Science’ project.
Self driving car – The car is operational from the laptop but not yet on the track. Work in progress!!

Ross Shep's self-driving car

Ross Shep’s self-driving car

Future collaboration – We plan to visit the hacker space ‘The Shack’ at UofA, and see some of the cool projects they have created. Hopefully our team members will be able to access the space regularly in the future, and receive mentorship and inspiration from UofA students and volunteers.

We have completed a lot in the last month! Here are some highlights:

We are looking forward to participating in the Jamboree on May 26th and have been practicing our presentation.

Lethbridge high school team members practicing their presentation

Lethbridge high school team members practicing their presentation

Bear Decoy – The drive system has now been finished, and the team has decided the type of controllers they’ll use to maximize bear articulation and mobility. Working with the school welder, the team fabricated the skeleton. Students used a forge to bend the metal to form the ribs and the spine. All joints and other moving parts were 3D printed.
T-shirt Cannon – Construction of the canon is now complete. We used it during the recent Open House, demonstrating projectile motion and as a mechanism for physics students to complete projectile motion calculations.
Football Tackle Dummy – Our dummy will use the drive system of a scooter, which was donated to us by a mobility company. This drive system will provide the necessary speed and torque to carry the load of a 250lb dummy. Our dummy will move at 4-5 MPH, which should be more than enough to challenge the players and mimic a realistic opponent. The dummy base has been designed in Solidworks and we now have a guiding document for metal fabrication.

Father Mercredi HS team members at the recent school open house

Father Mercredi HS team members at the recent school open house

Events – Our school held an Open House on May 9, where the community was invited to an evening of Robotics and Technology. The turnout was fantastic and we were able to show the many robotics platforms and the projects we are working on.

Our team recently took a trip to the wastewater treatment plant in High River to discuss how drinking water and waste water are dealt with in our community. We focussed mainly on where fats are problematic, and discussed ways in which our engineered bacteria (designed to break down fatbergs) may help! We are still waiting for our DNA construct so that we can insert it into our E. coli bacteria – the delivery has been delayed, but we are eagerly awaiting its arrival!

Notre Dame Collegiate syn bio team on visit at local water treatment plant

Notre Dame Collegiate syn bio team members visiting their local water treatment plant

We have just hosted our second school workshop with our mentors on May 17, where our goal was to accomplish the following.

OLS syn bio team members present their project during an innovation event held at the school on May 9

OLS synbio team members present their project during an innovation event held at the school on May 9

Also, we are thrilled to be hosting Mindfuel and all the Alberta high school teams at OLS at the end of the month!