Two thumbs up for a new project!- Dayanne Acosta

A new year accounts for a new project and for fresh ideas. After Hestia presented the Hestia baby blanket to a panel of judges, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to start a new project. Hestia is no longer Hestia, and we are no longer creating a baby blanket, however our team continues to be made up of Nissa Martinez, Georgia Hernandez, Lourdes Cruz and I (Dayanne Acosta). We were passionate about the baby blanket however we believed that we weren’t going to be successful.

When we came back to school after winter break, our teachers gave us alternative ideas if our team didn’t want to continue with the projects we were originally working with. One of the ideas included creating a 8th grade biomed module. For the 8th grade module, our team had thought about teaching the students how to extract DNA from a strawberry. My team mates had conducted this experiment during our 9th grade year. This activity would teach the students how DNA can be isolated from a strawberry using common household materials. Extracting DNA from a strawberry is fairly easy and would be fun for the students. For this module we would create a presentation where we would teach the background information surrounding this lab (the importance of our DNA and etc.). Along with the presentation we would also create worksheets that the students would fill out while they are conducting the experiment. Since I wasn’t familiar with this experiment, I did some research on the procedure of the lab. While researching I found various websites that were helpful. The website that was the most helpful was the Genome website. This website gives clean instruction and diagrams for the procedure that can be easily followed by the students.

We were interested in this idea for about two weeks, however we changed our mind when Ms.Jo presented to us a different project. The project that Ms.Jo had in mind for us to do was creating an item that would incorporate lily pads. The LilyPad Arduino is a microcontroller board designed for wearables and e-textiles. It can be sewn to fabric and similarly mounted power supplies, sensors and actuators with conductive thread.

We conducted research on items that incorporated the LilyPad Arduino, and one of them included a beanie. On the website instructables, there are instructions on how to make the beanie that would be powered by brainwaves. Because of this design, we wanted to create a beanie. We are still unsure on what other elements we are going to incorporate to the beanie because we wanted to create a beanie that would be used by runners. We wanted the beanie to have a sort of GPS incorporated in it to track the distance and the place that the runner is heading.  My team mates all have different ideas on what the beanie’s function would be.

Beanie inside out-
Beanie inside out-

We then approached a different idea when Georgia consulted with Ms.Miesner. After Georgia talked to Ms.Miesner, she came up with the idea of creating a headband that would replace earphones and headphones.  One of the most popular headbands for girls right now, are the headbands that go over the ears. This would be a great item to include the LilyPad Arduino into.

Brainwaves Beanie-
Brainwaves Beanie-

All of the ideas that we have come up with are great but we have to make up our mind and choose one. We would love to hear back from you guys. Possible ideas would be great and feedback is welcomed!

2 thoughts on “Two thumbs up for a new project!- Dayanne Acosta

Add yours

  1. In the design for the headband that will replace earphones sounds like a very good idea. I was wondering, would you use some type of sensor that will sense when the headband is worn? When the headband is worn would it be able to automatically start playing music? An idea is that it could have a blue tooth sensor that can be hooked up to a smartphone so that the music can be controlled with the headband. The beanie’s are a good idea as well, but in my opinion, this type of style is a seasonal thing, only worn in the colder seasons. This product might not sale as much in the summer or spring. That is also a consideration when picking a new product to prototype.- Deanna

  2. When your team was thinking of doing a lesson about extracting strawberry DNA, I was reminded of the experiment that I did during ninth grade biomedical science. I remembered that we needed to get a very small piece of strawberry and placed it in a small plastic test tube with DNA extraction buffer. With this setup, we placed the plastic tube in a device that would mix the strawberry and the buffer at a very high speed in order for the DNA to leave the strawberry. In the end of the experiment, we would take out the unwanted strawberry pieces that weren’t DNA out of the plastic tube and observed the DNA at the bottom. Besides the worksheet that you propose to do if you decide to do this, are there ways that you can make DNA extraction more creative? What I mean by “more creative” is that after the students learn how to extract strawberry DNA, what will they do with the plastic test tube with the DNA? Will they just keep them as they are in the test tube. A suggestion that I would like to put forth is that when I got to keep the strawberry DNA test tubes, I decided to make them into earrings. I attached a metal ring and hook to the side piece of the lid and wore them when I could. If you incorporate a creative aspect to the project, students will be more excited about learning how to extract DNA, and will want to do this at home. Also, in the post, it was stated that your team wanted to teach student a simple way of extracting strawberry DNA by using household items. I found this NOVA video that goes step-by-step on how to extract one’s own DNA by using household items like soap, alcohol, water, etc.

    Here’s the link to the video:

    Another item that I wanted to touch upon was the music playing beanie. It would be interesting to have a hat that would instantly start playing music when you wore it. This is idea is very interesting to do, but there are some issues that I wanted to point out in your consideration of this project. Some issues would be first, how would you prevent people who wear the headband from feeling the heat of Bluetooth clip or just component that are needed within the beanie? Second, what kind of power source would power the beanie? On a different note, a suggestion that I give your team from seeing the comment from Deanna about the beanie being seasonal would be that you can make it inflatable to prevent head injuries. This idea reminds me of the invisible helmet that we saw at the beginning of the year. Another idea that popped into mind right now was that you can make the beanie into a device that can help people that are blind. The way that it would work would be that it would have a sensor that would be in the beanie and when someone got too close to something, it would vibrate or beep how close they were from that object. The sensors would have to be able to detect motion the whole length of your body and all around you as well and at a certain depth. -Karina Mendez

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