A moment to explain our featured image, if I may: Calvin and Hobbes hold dear in all of our hearts. And this image in particular represents our feeling more accurately than mere words or stock photo could represent. Read onwards!
Wilkommen, dear readers, avid followers, rabid fan-girls and boys I’m sure!
This semester has been one HECK of a ride- and I’ve enjoyed 98% of it (I mean, c’mon, even as a senior there are just SOME things that are decidedly not awesome). Within this whirlwind of a semester was our wonderful class, Biomedical Design and Entrepreneurship. (I really hope I spelled ‘entrepreneurship’ correctly, it’d be a touch embarrassing if a high school senior at such a wonderful institution couldn’t spell the name of the class correctly…)
Within this so wonderful class, we had to make a list of ideas and joyously enthusiastic companions into a list of: what can we do, and who can I work with without:
-Taking over the world (you should at least be college age before undertaking such a thing).
FORTUNATELY- I ended up in a group of some of the most remarkable intelligent, humorous, and gritty individuals ever. We only wanted to slaughter one another some of the time. We collaborated, we constructed, we killed our audiences we presented to (audience= peers, teachers, parents). Not literally. So really, flip the titles on those two pie charts (something strange occurred in the universe for a group project to go so splendidly for us. Perhaps we’re usually the dudes who get stuck with doing all the work.)
We crossed many rivers, explored our and our companions pathways (though I’ll confess: I went biomedical because outside of school I live and breathe engineering- though the bio and medical ness have taken over my brain in such a way I’m looking at medicine, so I wonder what else is in store for myself and the rest of my Merry Crew).
We had to come up with an idea. We had to set criteria. We had to conduct interviews (talking to people- the horror!) , we had to channel our boundless energy and creativity to a box- the same box we enjoy bursting out of (similar to this: warning, mildly gory), and having to cram ourselves into that confined space and think… somewhat realistically (for now. We would, at a later point, burn that box to the ground).
We then had to piece together a memorandum- an interesting experience that I think I’ll one day be very thankful for, and actually a good teambuilding experience. Upon reading this, my team mates will likely chase me with pitchforks and torches (the original night safety devices),
But alas! It must be said. It ended up being a fifteen some-odd paged document, which we were quite proud of until we tackled the beast: our design proposal that, perhaps, one day we’ll update and submit to some lawyers and get a patent rolling. Perhaps. If we won the lottery or something.
We eventually, once we got to the physical, resources grubbing, dollar store scrounging, creative interpreting of familial objects (“We need a bluetooth something.” “Would this router work?” “I don’t thin-” “I want it. I can science it.” “But-” “Oh look, an earpiece. Let’s get both.” “Right on.”), that we exploded out of the box and took off like a crazed chestburster through a lab. Quite a bit like this, actually.
We received our filaments, we had finished designing our flashlight- all praise and sacrifices to be sent to my benevolent and incredible companions who valiantly battled SketchUp and AutoCad while I toddled around with paintball guns and RFIDs (that whole ‘ID’ing your attacker/tracking them’ reaaally threw us for a bit of a loop. Again- we got creative!).
We received our spools of LED lights that my companion, Jessica, and I set about cutting up, stripping, obtaining a breadboard and some electrical tape and wiring (all safe here, carry on health and safety *whistle innocently*), and set to work!
Whoo! We hooked everything up (not very difficult, don’t look too close at the battery setup please, ladies and gentlemen…), and started trying to figure out how we were going to fit everything into the flashlight for a small prototype demonstration on Wednesday (wish us luck!).
Meanwhile, the artistic talent of Paloma was instructing Adina on how to tape reflective material on the inside of the cone of the flashlight while Jess and I giggled like school boys over an ant pile making circuits and trying to fit things into our cylindrical constraints.
(Paloma and Adina, totally killin’ it doing that whole research and design thing.)
So, somehow, a Beekeeper (yours truly), a Trekkie (shoutout to my girl Adina), an artistic genius (yeah, that’s you Paloma), and a Mother Bear that likes of which the real ones drool in envy of her mad skills (Jessica).
We got everything together, we pulled everything from an idea we weren’t even sure we’d be able to see all the way through into a physical, semi-functional device! We rock! As to the song from the title (Starman, from David Bowie, to those wondering), well, we’re Neon Shields! We dance in moonlight, and would descend from above, but we’re afraid we’d blow your minds with the true extent of the work we’ve poured into this- and intend to continue to do so.
Stay safe, stay invested, and above all…
PS: Watch this and enjoy the rest of your day/evening/night.