Studying STEM

With a passion for science dating back to as long as she could remember, Laalitya Acharya, 2017 Young Scientist Challenge Finalist and inventor of “TraffEnerate” has started a new project called “Studying STEM” in which she hopes to help anyone learn STEM.

In her first lesson on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), she gives us a great breakdown of the natural phenomena of gravitational force, frictional force, normal force and tension force using easy to understand explanations and illustrations for the vector of each force.

Education is crucial for us to create a deeper understanding of the world we live in. What are some specific subjects within STEM that you would like to learn more about? Follow @studyingstem on IG and subscribe to her channel “Studying STEM” on YouTube to build your knowledge on STEM. May the forces be with you!

Undersea Oil Spill Device

At the age of 18, Karan Jerath of Friendswood, Texas won the top prize for Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) for inventing a device that shuts down undersea oil spills.

Jerath was also one of the five students selected for the Intel and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum Visit to India Award. Jerath designed a sturdy device that can collect the oil, gas and water spewing from a broken well on the seafloor.

“Sensors inside the 350-ton device would measure the temperature, pressure and density of the mix of gases and fluids erupting from a well,” Karan said. “A computer would then calculate how valves in the gadget should be adjusted so that the gas and oil can be collected. That should stop a spill in its tracks. The device could help prevent an ecological catastrophe. It also would reduce cleanup costs.”

 (Source: Huffington Post)

The Dutchman Tree Spade

Why cut a tree down when it can be easily and efficiently transplanted?

I re-present to you, the Dutchman Industries’ Dutchman Tree Spade.

In the early 1970’s, Dutchmaster commenced the design, development, and manufacturing of the “Dutchman’s Tree Spade”. Continual design upgrades over the past two decades have resulted in a number of models that can deal with trees of all calipers while maintaining our reputation for efficiency and dependability. The Dutchman Industries Inc. has evolved into a 1600+ acre wholesale nursery distribution center. Their nursery offers a wide variety of deciduous and coniferous plants.

Check out their website for more info and videos here!

Beta.ray: The Spherical Sun Power Generator

(Image Source: alternative-energy-news.info )

German Architect Andre Broessel believes he has a solution that can “squeeze more juice out of the sun”, even during the night hours and in low-light regions. His company Rawlemon has created a spherical sun power generator prototype called the beta.ray. His technology will combine spherical geometry principles with a dual axis tracking system, allowing twice the yield of a conventional solar panel in a much smaller surface area. The futuristic design is fully rotational and is suitable for inclined surfaces, walls of buildings, and anywhere with access to the sky. It can even be used as an electric car charging station.

“The beta.ray comes with a hybrid collector to convert daily electricity and thermal energy at the same time. While reducing the silicon cell area to 25% with the equivalent power output by using an ultra transmission Ball Lens point focusing concentrator, it operates at efficiency levels of nearly 57% in hybrid mode. At nighttime the Ball Lens can transform into a high-power lamp to illuminate your location, simply by using a few LED’s. The station is designed for off grid conditions as well as to supplement buildings’ consumption of electricity and thermal circuits like hot water.”

(Visit the source for more information and videos: alternative-energy-news.info )

JouleBug

JouleBug is the easy way to make your everyday habits more sustainable, at home, work, and play. Discover how you and your friends can use resources, without using them up, with this newly designed app.

JouleBug organizes sustainability tips into Actions that you Buzz in the app when you do them in real-life. Learn more about each tip with easy-to-understand Impact Stats, Bonuses, How-To Videos, and Helpful Links. Encourage your friends by sharing how you’re making a difference and following what they’re up to in the Feed. Join local Communities for the latest sustainable news, limited-edition Actions and Badges, plus get access to local Challenges. Track your impact with your career stats and utility graph as your Trophy Case fills up. Save money, have fun, and be a little kinder to the planet, with JouleBug!

Features:
EARN ACHIEVEMENTS
-Master Actions by Buzzing when you do it in real-life
-You’re awarded Points with each Buzz that correlates to the impact the action has on your wallet and the environment
-Earn extra achievements called Badges when you become an expert in the field
-Learn more about each action with Stats, Videos, and Links
-Localized content helps you find sustainable initiatives near you
-Easily discover new Actions by browsing various categories or searching

BE SOCIAL
-Share what you’re Buzzing to the Feed and Facebook or Twitter
-Add Photos to any Buzz
-Join local Communities to see what’s happening near you
-Like and Comment on others’ stories
-Follow your friends or see what’s Trending for JouleBug Nation
-Compete in local and national Challenges to see who’s the greenest

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
-Career stats show you how many achievements and points you’ve earned
-Connect your utility account to track your home energy usage
-Fill up your Trophy Case

Look for JouleBug on the iTunes store!

Purple Air: Real-time Air Quality Map

purpleair_airqualitymap(Above) A look at the PurpleAir Map broadcast of air quality in different city regions of the US.

According to their website, PurpleAir states that they are creating “an air quality monitoring network built on a new generation of Laser particle counters. PurpleAir Sensors use WiFi to report local air quality in real time to the PurpleAir Map.”

purpleair_aqi_unhealthy

As you can see above, the readings range from green (good) to a deep purple (hazardous). Keep in mind that these readings of the AQI (Air Quality Index) are real-time and often can vary between Good and Moderate or Warning and Unhealthy for example. They also provide charts to show the change over hours and days among other information you can check out on their website.

PurpleAir has available to purchase and register your own PA-II Dual Laser Air Quality Sensor to contribute to the data that is being reported real-time through a network of sensors.

Magnetic Water-Cleaning Technology

A hydro-magnetic system, the first of its kind, was made by the scientists at Omni Enviro and installed in the Sochi River near the Black Sea in western Russia. This system is a hydro-technical structure installed in the river and is described as “a running/flowing type” of magnetic water treatment plant.

Within a few hours of the hydro-magnetic system’s operation in the Sochi River, the scientists, as well as thousands of other people who had come to see this experiment, witnessed unique changes.

One change was that shoals of fish could be seen swimming from the direction of the sea towards the water that had flowed through the magnetic system. Because magnetic water coagulates particles floating in the water causing them to sink to the bottom, the water becomes much clearer with visibility improving markedly. Witnesses claim that there were so many fish in the river, it was impossible to see the bottom even though the depth of the river in that area is no more than 1.5 meters.

Widespread interest in the hydro-magnetic system in Sochi lead Omni Enviro to build a complex called a “Magnetic Quay” and located it on the banks of the river.

This complex includes a “Magnetic Coffee Shop”, and a gallery exhibiting magnetic devices. Company representatives are always available at “Magnetic Quay” to explain to tourists the everyday use of magnetic technologies. (OmniEnviro Source link: https://www.omnienviro.com/environment/rivers-lakes.php)

Check out their website for more research and video testimonials! Does this mean fish can swim in cleaner water? Are there any adverse effects in using this magnetic technology?

SeaVax – Robotic Vacuum Ship

seavax-tank-testing-pv-panels-trackingEarlier this year in March I was one of 50,476 people who donated to a campaign run by Avaaz to help get SeaVax from Phase I into Phase II.

SeaVax drones make up a team of vessels they call SeaNet that collect trash and pump it into a 150-tonne capacity holding bay. Water that gets filtered through comes out the rear of the ship.  Once the transports are full they can be transported ashore on solar powered barges so the waste can then be recycled.

They are even developing sensors for SeaVax to be able to power down when marine life is detected in its trajectory. Due to its adaptable solar panel equipment and a couple of small wind turbines, they estimate SeaVax could treat 89.9 million liters of seawater a year. BlueBird Marine Systems (maker of SeaVax) quotes the SeaVax price at around $3 million dollars per unit. The figure the cleanup cost, based on that price point would be around $1.49 USD per kg of trash collected.

The SeaVax even made an appearance at the Olympics in Rio!

Check out more on SeaVax from BlueBird Marine System’s website.

 

Building Blocks from Waste Plastic

recycled-plastic-bricks-byfusion-replast-ocean-trash-2-0

Plastic waste can be made into building blocks!

Peter Lewis is a New Zealand-based engineer whose research has now laid the foundation for the use of waste plastic to create building materials from a material comprising plastic sourced from the oceans and machine-compressed into the dimensions of a typical concrete masonry unit. Because the blocks do not require a binding agent, such as glue or adhesive, their carbon footprint is said to be far less in comparison to concrete.

The startup ByFusion created by Gregor Gomory is getting started with the project of creating what they are calling RePlast blocks and are exploring different possible uses for the building materials. Gomory told SustainableBrands. “We want to see RePlast used in a modular way in low-income housing, for example. There are much smarter people out there than us that will have ideas.”

Like a bird preparing its nest the materials await to be scavenged. A potential gaming element is evident: Collecting waste plastic materials to get more blocks, more blocks builds more houses. More houses, less trash in the oceans and the land. Next, do we cut down on use of plastics? 🙂

New Water Drones

Through a collaboration between Port of Rotterdam Authority and academic institutions such as Erasmus University in Rotterdam and Port Innovation Lab with the Delft University of Technology new innovations in the line of “do good” drones are starting to make their appearance in the ports. Among the emerging breeds of Water Drones are the “AquaSmartXL” and the “Waste Shark”. The AquaSmartXL is a useful alternative to port surveillance that would normally require a man-operated boat burning fuel. The unmanned Waste Shark is able to collect around 500 kg of wast in the water through its mouth-like opening 35 cm below the surface of the water. It is around the size of a average four door car.

rotterdam_innovate_with_new_water_drones_600_375_84An AquaSmartXL in the port of Rotterdam.

 

wastesharkdroneportPrototype fleet of Waste Sharks along with drone port charging stations.

wastesharkAnother look at the garbage-collecting Waste Shark.