When something this cool comes together... WOW!
The four high school students at Chaska High School have been super busy over the past four months working on a STEM challenge focusing on engineering and technology. We asked if they could build a weather station that would on a houseboat that also transports 4 whether goats on the Mississippi River. This would give us real-time weather info to help keep our volunteers, guests and animals safe during their Environmental STEM adventures along Pool 2 of the river.
Soon after touring Peacebunny Island as a class earlier this fall, they sat down with their teacher and started doing research and they are now in the development phase. Several failed print-jobs - learning 101 opportunities, so even hearing about their setbacks was energizing.
The team is continuing to adapt an Arduino Weather Station design by using the school's 3D printer to make the measuring devices, adding a microchip that can read the data, and then attach the completed station to a boat. The sensors will go onto a second houseboat that we didn't own when we first started dreaming.
But ta-dah! Here's a picture of our new pontoon houseboat that was donated to our program this month. It already has working electricity and rest room inside, and we think its front porch is just perfect for our goats while they are en route to other islands to eat invasive buckthorn or purple loosestrife plants. That's the idea anyway. It's a project in the works! The team is now entering their four month on the project and are signing up for another semester to keep working on their Capstone Projects. After our visit to see their progress on Monday, we are even excited! They have printed the parts, they have learned the Arduino coding language, and are now waiting for the breadboard to connect everything. We recorded video of our visit with them talking through the project and as soon as the formal permissions are in place we'll post it here too. GREAT JOB! We are super super impressed by your work!