Waste Water Management was created after drafting many ideas on how to teach kids about a current sustainability issue. The project was a semester long project that each person spent about 140 hours on.
What it does
Kids are able to come up to the exhibit and select and test different ways to deal with storm and waste water, and depending on the method selected, beads fall through the exhibit and show different behaviors.
How I built it
It is build using a large wooden frame with a top where beads fall through and a middle area where the beads funnel through to show the behavior. It works by using an RFID reader to scan 3D printed parts that had tags in the bottom. That communicates with the arduino that reads the value and matches it with the right display. Then the sound of rain starts playing and slides displaying info on the method play on the computer on the side. Finally, the kids are prompted to press a large flashing button and when they do, a servo motor spins and drops all the beads through the exhibit.
Challenges I ran into
There were major challenges with using free electronic equipment from the classroom, such as the servo motor that often broke. Also getting some sort of prototype working for all the deadlines was a challenge faced, and often forced more ambitious ideas to be put aside for the time being.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am most proud of getting the RFID, GUI, button, and motor coordination to all work for the final day. I was completely in charge of all of the electronics and had to work up to the last day to finish everything and it ended up working perfectly. Seeing the kids actually play with the exhibit with us only telling them about it was incredibility satisfying.
What I learned
I learned a lot about meeting deadlines, while keeping organized files on progress, hours worked, and tryingto make something tangible to present on progress. On top of this, I also spent time as the project leader where I had to make sure everyone did there job, come up with task and balance work, and keep track of our project and the deadline. I also learned a lot of the basic skills on circuit design, and programming for simple micro controller applications such as making a servo move or a slide show to play based on inputs of buttons, and RFID readings.