This six weeks I have learned is going to be far different than those we have faced so far. Having no small assignment to turn in at the end up class has placed more responsibility on myself, the group leader, to make sure we are all following and completing the agenda for the workday. I personally believe that I have improved quite a bit in letting my teammates take a challenging part of the work load, for this is a big assignment that requires engineering and 3-D modeling skills that I do not possess.
I came to this realization on Tuesday November 14th when I and my teammates thought that it would be a good idea to take apart a fish cleaning motor in order to familiarize ourselves with its components. Knowing that our breast pump motor would be one to require suction programed to mimic that of a child, buying a regular motor would not be an option. Brainstorming ways to turn the fish motor cleaner that blew out air into one that sucked air was a difficult task especially for me. It was not until Sabrina Lomeli, our detailed specialist, pointed out that a breadboard could be created to program the motor to change the direction of the pull of the magnet in order to make the lever originally connected to the magnet to pull the rubber lid instead of pushing it. The breadboard could also be programmed to switch the direction of the magnet at certain intervals in order to mimic a child’s suction rate.
After congratulating ourselves on our great accomplishment and teamwork skills we realized that it was yet too soon to celebrate victory. The Fish motor, Sabrina explained, worked on AC power meaning that it needed to be connected to a plug in order to work. A breast pump used for working women could not be one that needs to be plugged in at all times, therefore we needed to convert the AC power usage to BC in order for the motor to need batteries only. Kaiyla Washington, project specialist, mentioned that this programing could be done as well with a breadboard.
Even though I see that my teammates are working hard on research and finding the components necessary in order to make a working breast pump, I cannot help but worry that we will miss our ordering deadline. Working with a budget of 81$ is pretty difficult and one must learn how to really stretch out those dollar bills. It was not too late before we realized that Amazon could be our best friend in this project. The biomedical aspects that are involved with breastfeeding must also be taken into consideration, and must be researched in depth before the deadline. Sometimes it stresses me out to see that the more we figure out the special components in this design process, the more we realize that we do not know that much about breast pumps at all.
Looking back at this previous week I feel accomplished that I was able to let go of the power in the group and allow my teammates to slowly gravitate towards what they want to do in the project. I recently sent out an email reminding everybody of the tasks that must be completed before class next period. A materials list must be completed in order to get our orders ready and sent, the breadboard must be started and at least one third finished. The Biomedical aspects must be researched in depth. And finally the sketchup must be at least 70% completed. Lets see how things turn out next time! Roger Out!