Our Meeting on July 26

Hey guys, Jennifer and Arunima here. So, Runi forgot her password, so we’re using my account. Anyway, we were trying to narrow down our ideas for the project, and learn about how to program simple robots. First, we broke into two groups and Eddie and Ashton each reviewed what we learned last week. They showed us the different parts of the robot, and what each of their purposes were. Afterwards, each group got their own computer that had the programming application already downloaded on it, and got to “play around” with it. Then we got to transfer the files onto the robot and see the outcome. We became quite comfortable with the program, and we know how to create programs for simple robots.

Next, we discussed our reports for mold. In a nutshell, mold is a type of fungi that needs moisture and anything in the house, especially wallboard. Everyone gave a little report about it, and Laura even made a Powerpoint. Mrs. Rollins came up with an absolutely brilliant idea of a plug-in freshener(like febreeze or dove) that turns a certain color when there is an unpleasant odor from the mold. We haven’t exactly worked out the details, but that’s definitely a possibility for our project. We also discussed our idea of the boots with the hand warmers on the bottom. For our “newsflash”, we saw a youtube video about Norwegian roads that are coming out soon that have lighting so that at night, there’s enough light to see. Also, it predicts the weather, and if you have a car that has to be charged, then by going in a certain lane, your car can get charged. It’s pretty cool…also, we saw this fabric that is very flexible, but when wet, it turns into concrete. Furthermore, there is a kind of concrete that sucks up all the water. Runi came up with an AWESOME idea, to use the concrete the sucks up all the water for our boots with hand warmers. When the boots melt all the snow and the snow becomes water, the water can be dried by the concrete.

That’s pretty much the summary of our meeting. Thanks for reading.

New Ideas

Hi guys…I was SO excited about this that I couldn’t wait for tomorrow’s meeting to share it. I recently found this website that advertises something called HeatTrak. It’s a huge business, and it’s also attracting a lot of attention. This is the summary that they use on the website: “As the world’s only manufacturer of portable outdoor snow-melting mats, HeatTrak’s products are an efficient and convenient way to prevent snow and ice accumulation around the home or facility. To help reduce slip-and-fall accidents in the winter, try a HeatTrak® and save your back.” Of course, this paragraph is exaggerated, because it obviously isn’t the world’s only manufacturer, but it still seems like something that could help. I looked at the pricing, and the pricing for a walkway mat is $130! I would definitely not pay that much money for HeatTrak. We can do much better than that. (The website is www.heattrak.com if you want to go and see for yourself.) But the thing is, if we use this idea, then would it really be ours? There are also so many other companies that have the same idea as HeatTrak, such as one called Masterheat. This one installs it underneath your floor, but although they don’t show the pricing, it can’t be cheap. So what we’re looking for is a super-cheap, appealing, and useful device that we can have. I know we discussed that if we make those winter boots, we could make something similar to the handwarmers that can be stuck to the bottom to melt the snow. We have to find a way to clean that water, because on a driveway, if there’s a lot of snow, and it all turns into water, chances are that it’s all going to spill into the road. Also, if there is a lot of water on the surface, then there is a safety hazard involved because there’s a good chance of slipping. These are all issues that must be addressed, and I was wondering if you guys could come up with any tweaks to my idea…Furthermore, we started off with the idea of a “carpet” of heating pads. Theoretically, it seems like it will work, but we need to consider all the variables. What if the carpet isn’t big enough, and you have to constantly go outside and put it in a different area? It can be really inconvenient to have to continuously put your snowboots on and go outside, but you also can’t make a huge carpet of heating pads that cover the entire driveway either. What if someone steps on the heating pad by accident when it is hot? Will it “explode” if the heat and the pressure react? The chemicals in the liquid would be everywhere, and I’m not sure how that will work out. If you put it on a flight of stairs, would it be flexible enough to cover all the areas and melt all the snow? It could be stiff and not melt the part that the heating pad didn’t touch…It still needs a lot of work, and I would really appreciate it if everyone could give it some pointers. I know that we have to conclude our idea by this meeting, and I completely understand that we will most likely not use these ideas, but I think it’s a good place to start off with and we could get a lot of inspiration from this. See you all at our next meeting!


STEM meeting 7/19/13

July 19th, 2013

Presented Different natural Disasters

  • Blizzards: Anthony

–  love snow

– during a blizzard there is reduced vision

– certain wind scale for measuring blizzards

– formation: cold air crashes into warm air from tropics, clouds form

– Problems: transportation, buildings collapse, snowdrifts, powerlines+pipes freeze

– Solutions: Robots(ex. Electrac) can cut through snow and  rescue people

  • Earthquakes: Eddie

-Vector Scale goes on forever

-vibrations in the earth

  • Wildfires: Laura

-uncontrolled fire that starts in areas of vegetation

-economy is forced to pay for property damage

Discussed Various Inventions

Jennifer- heatpads that act as a glow stick

continued to

-boots for warmth as well as shoveling/melting snow

-handwarmers too expensive

-difficult to get to car in a snowstorm

-stairs are slippery and dangerous

-melt the snow with heating pads


-battery that runs on air

– special lightbulb that emits light by itself

Think: How to generate electricity or create/improve items that don’t use electricity?


Eddie and Ashton demonstrated creating a program for the robot.

– different blocks that represent various actions or functions

ex. text, numbers

Then they downloaded the program into the robot through wire. 

Also, they identified specific parts of the robot.

-ports: parts where you connect a certain wire of a motor

-hub: main section for all wires to be connected to (ex. item that multiple headphones may be plugged into)


Homework: research MOLD



New Members

My friend wants to join STEM club, but she is going into sixth grade. She is super excited about STEM, and was wondering whether she could join a little early. You might know her already, but if it’s okay with you guys, could she come to our next meeting?

I think it’s great that people coming in want to join STEM! Let me know whether she can come ASAP


7/12 STEM Club Meeting Recap

Today, we mainly focused on the mission and the project. Eddie and Ashton did an awesome job of giving us more specific details on those topics. Remember the girl, who came during the open house? Well, she came back, and she gave us some really good advice on the project and on the mission. For example, while making the power points, key notes, posters, etc. for the project, we should stay away from writing about what we could’ve done. *Christina told us that rather than presenting an idea to the judges, we should try to create a prototype of whatever invention, or idea we have in mind. Also, during the meeting, Eddie and Ashton showed us a chart of how much the project, mission, and miscellaneous would cost. I think that the grand total was around $1,500 dollars! Well, that’s about as much as I can summarize about our meeting, so see you all later!

*I think Christina is her name, but if it isn’t, feel free to tell me so I can go and correct it:)

Garbage Mountain Idea

Hi Alex,
One of the things we talked about during the meeting was that prototypes give us a better chance of doing better in the competition. Although your idea is great, It is not very realistic. We would not bring a garbage mountain into the judging room and present them that idea because it would be impossible. For example, during the second year of our FLL team being together we did not notice that a real prototype would help us do better. It turned out that year we did not do very well in the project because we didn’t have a prototype. The next year we knew we had to change something so we created an actual prototype to show the judges. We made the prototype because it was a model of what would help senior’s hear better. Instead of saying we could make a good high quality “hearing hat”, we did make it and that is what the judges are looking for.

I hope to see you at the next STEM meeting and we can talk more about it then.


STEM Meeting 7/12 Information

I hope you guys had a great Fourth Of July! First of all, our meeting will be from 10:30 to 12:30, but just for that Friday. To get in, just go to the Washington Place entrance and ring the bell. There are a few things that we are going to discuss on Friday. We will talk about our very successful fundraising on the Fourth of July, we will talk about our project (narrowing down topics/problems), and finally, we will do some work with simple machines and programming. We also might have the high school girl that was part of the FTC team that came during our open house come to talk. For everyone who wasn’t able to come during our July 4th fundraiser, we have our t-shirts for you! Again our next meeting will be on July 12 at 10:30 to 12:30 in Mrs. Kuiken’s room. See you there!