After a semester of researching and attempting to develop a new and improved shoe insert to relieve heel pain from plantar fasciitis, SEAS Design Group has decided to split up and go our separate ways. Eliza is now working on an independent research paper, Andrea has joined another group, and Stephanie and I have decided to work on a project we began in 10th grade: Project VENTURA. As a sophomore at the Ann Richards School, we are required to complete a DAP (Distinguished Achievement Plan) Project. In the engineering pathway, we were tasked with restoring and converting a 12-foot long, 1977 vintage trailer into an “eco-trailer”. I worked with two other girls in my class to plan and re-design a trailer with a budget of $3,000 and a requirement to use at least 75% of green materials. To successfully complete this project, our design had to include/consider framing, insulating, flooring, wiring, adding a fresh water holding tank and pump, and installing solar panels. After working on our design for several months, all engineering groups presented their projects to a panel of judges who graded our work. During 10th grade DAP, Stephanie and I were in separate groups, but both of our design were selected as the top three. Unfortunately, the trailer was never fully renovated despite multiple attempts to do so. Now that we have the option of starting a new project in our Biomedical Engineering class, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finally finish Project VENTURA. In addition to renovating the trailer, Stephanie and I plan to incorporate a temperature and humidity sensor (AdaFruit HTU21D-F). This way we can also tinker with an Arduino board and programming in addition to trailer construction. This past May, Stephanie interned at Intel for a week and she learned about Arduino and Galileo boards. Using her past experience working with this technology and our foundation in digital electronics, I am not too concerned about this portion of our project.
Lately, Stephanie and I have been working in the trailer, removing the pine and cedar paneling, de-nailing the wood, and using the miter saw to even the edges. Now all we have to do is sand the wood and begin re-panelling the sides of the trailer. Our end goal is to re-model the trailer by April, just in time for the Make-O-Rama (Maker-Fair).
I’m glad I chose to continue and hopefully complete Project VENTURA!