We want to be the very best

like no group ever was.

To build them all is our real test,

to master them is our cause.

We will travel across the fields

learning more and more

of each field of engineering to understand

the power that's inside.

Engineering Team 4 2016

Electrical Circuit

 Our group designed and built a circuit that would respond to radiation levels on mars. The circuit needed to be desigened so that a green light would  be on when no switches were turned on which represented acceptable levels of radiation. If one switch was turned on a yellow light would then turn on representing elevated levels of radiation. If two switches were on then the red light would signal hazardous levels of radiation. Lastly, if all three switches were switched on then an alarm would sound which meant there are deadly levels of radiation. In order to do this we first had to create a truth table which we used to detrmine the inouts and outputs of the circuit. From here, we used our knowledge of Boolean algebra to come up with a Boolean equation for each scenario of the circuit. Once we had our Boolean equation we then began to design our logic circuit which was initially challenging. Once we had our design down we began our wiring which also turned out to be a challenge but eventually we worked out all the issues and successfully created our circuit.



In order to create a source of power on mars, we needed to design and build a windmill. As we built our windmill, we engaged in civil engineering as we had to build a strong structure that could stand its own wieght pressure and the forces of the wind. We also had to precisely design our wings so that they would flow smoothly with the wind. Additionally, we had to create an electrical generator that would produce electricty. the generator would spin a nail that had magnets attached to it. The genertor also had about 300 coils of copper wire that would generate electricity as the nail would spin. As the wind would power our windmill, an attached string would then spin our generator that would power the generator.

 Rocket And Glider

Additionally, we had to design, build, and test our bottle rocket and our own glider. We used a 2 liter soda bottle for our rocket with attached fins that we designed and cut from balsawood. Aside from the bottle rocket, we also designed our own glider from the balsawood that had to be modified so that it could be balanced. Once we made our rocket and glider, we had to decide on a detachment mechanism. Initially, we decided that we would use the arduino to program a small servo motor with a rubber band that would basically launch off the glider. However, after we programmed the servo and attached the arduino board to the rocket we learned that our plan would not work out. The servo motor was not strong enough to push off the glider. So as adaptive problem solvers, we didcided to design sort of a latch mechanism to detach the glider. We attached the glider to the rubber band that would also make use of gravity in order to detach the glider.



We also programmed 3 different robots to carry out differnt tasks. To begin, the Scribbler robot was designed to map out an entire course that was made by the teacher assistants. The scribbler required a lot of trial and error. We would write our program but then we would have to go back and troubleshoot as  the main function was in fact not functioning. The function that was not working was the sensors to detect oncoming objects. Through many people's efforts and tweaking of the program, we were able to complete the robot. But secondly, there was the EV3 Mindstorm by Lego where we get to both design the robot itself and program it. With out standard design provided by the basic kit, we were able to make some tweaks here and there on the robot to make it into the team's desired design. However, we encountered some major problems when the color sensing system could not sense blue in an efficient manner, thus leading to our ultimate alteration of the design to have to include two consecutive color sensors to detect the blue objects that were to simulate Mars samples. Lastly, we had to program the RedBot that uses an Arduino as the computer. This robot has to follow a path and detect tremors. However, the sensors had to be tweaked as they were sensitive to even the slightest changes of the path so it stops after the path it is supposed to follow turns. In addition to this, the sensors to detect the tremors were not functioning so the insect antennae like sensors were used to detect objects in order to command the robot to turn back.



In order to create a sustainable environment for the astronauts on Mars to survive, we have to design a brickmaker that will use a recipe to create bricks while the astronaut rests. In this design, we used the standard design of a brickmaker with an alteration of using funnels instead on the standard materials contraption in order to use a program to dispense the two materials required. The two materials needed are sulfur and martian regolith. The process to make this martian brick is to melt the sulfur in order to mix the regolith into the solution. Then you let the solution cool while being compressed to make sure no air bubbles form inside the brick to maintain structural integrity.

Published on February 25th, 2018

Last updated on April 27th, 2020