Last night Joe sent us an email telling us that we need to start growing ASAP and he is not putting any more money into our project. We have 6 1/2 weeks remaining in our school year and I don’t think any of the Hydroponics team is coming back next year. Therefore, we have many next steps as to maintaining the project and recruiting new students to run it next year. First off, recruiting-wise we are hoping to get a list of students that put WISRD in their top 2 choices for elective next year from Lori. Once we have looked over this, we can talk to the incoming students and see if any of them are interested in maintaining the Hydroponics Project. Because our project is popular to many of the WISRD “tourists”, it is important that we keep it up and running, especially since it is an essential part of the life science department. So, recruiting is one step moving forward. The other area of focus is planting our seeds. The Hydroponics setup is all ready to start growing! Therefore, we are ready to plant our seeds in the initial growing cubes in preparation of implanting them into the growing cubes that we can then use to run labs in the future. Today, we could not find our seeds so we did not plant, however we went to buy seeds and hopefully Joe will return with a few packets of herb seeds, and 1 tomato seedling. This way, we can see what plants are most successful in our environment, and then speculate why this is. Wish us luck!
Today we put together our unit, complete with a 10 gallon reservoir tank, 1 cm diameter tubing, smaller tubing that feeds into the octobubbler, an octobubbler, a bucket for the runoff, threaded PVC pipe, a basin, 5 growing cubes, a pack of starter plugs growing cubes, a pump, plant food, and a fan. We are now going on spring break for 2 weeks and will not be working on this project. Everything is ready for us to start growing! The next step is for us to plant our seeds and do all of the groundwork so that none of the hydroponics team ever has to do it again in the future, and everything will be all set up so that they can run labs and test salinity and pH, etc.
We are building our PVC frame this week. We are measuring, cutting, and assembling the PVC piping now. We are now waiting on the threading from the lathe, which Felix is doing. Then, we can assemble our frame. We are focusing on the water crisis, and while many Angelenos have begun thinking that the drought is over due to the recent rain storms, the drought plaguing the Los Angeles area is far from over. Although the natural rainfall at hand is important to the rejuvenation of our crops and freshwater supply, it is not enough to sustain our ever-growing human race. San Joaquín Valley provides crops from tomatoes to lettuce to carrot. Along with this, they also grow garlic, strawberries and sweet corn. Therefore, they are a huge food provider for the surrounding counties, California, and the country. The salinity and pH labs that we are in the works of outlining currently are essential to the research and progress of the San Joaquín Valley. http://vric.ucdavis.edu/virtual_tour/sanjoq.htm
Here is the fan that we unboxed and began assembling, and a lot of our gear. The second photograph down is our light that perfectly distributes the sunlight to all of our seedlings that are yet to be planted. The last picture is our base/ cradle that all of our crops will be placed in. They also include the soil-free growing cubes and the watering squares that stab into the not-soil, in order to distribute the water evenly amongst all portions of the growing seedling. They are currently stabbed into the cubes, as they will be once the seedling is planted.
Here we are grommeting the tarp and drilling the holes through the tarp that the grommets will go on/ how they will be connected to the base. Next, we will attach the tarp to the base and pick up the rest of our pieces to GreenCoast.
Here we are building the base, we are putting together the plywood that has been cut and fitted. Next, we will screw them together and cover the wood with the tarp. We will grommet the tarp and put them together and then the base will be finished. The reasoning behind this is to prevent water damage on the carpet and the floor that could affect the collection of data in our labs. Here, Ihsan is demonstrating where he thinks the screws/ nails should go. We are all collaborating to make this base, for we are waiting for the rest of our materials to be picked up and brought to our location. Then, we can begin building.
Our plywood is supposed to come today. However, it has been delayed so for now we just have to organize the materials. Lela is meant to go grab the supplies that have arrived at GreenCoast, and then we can start building! Here is us surveying the environment and inspecting the nice puddle that has collected under the stairs due to a rainwater leak in the piping. It has dripped down the wall and into the carpeting. We are also working on a detailed sketch of our setup that will determine the materials that we need to move on so that we can begin putting together our setup. This is us looking at the materials we already have, organizing, and listing the materials that we have yet to buy.
Since I posted last we have gone to GreenCoast Hydroponics, where our contact is Danny, and put in an order/ purchased almost all of the materials necessary for our hydroponics set. Among the list of materials that we bought is. The only things that we have yet to have on campus is the PVC pipe (elbows and all), the threaded pipe (PVC or otherwise), and the materials to make our catch basin. The things we need for the catch basin is plywood and a kind of plastic sheeting/ tarp so that if our 10 gallon reservoir spills we will have a way to save as much water as we can and prevent it from spilling all over the new, Wildwood carpeting. So we have been busy calculating that, it turns out that 1” of water could spill within our 24 ft.^2 box if we build it properly. We would need it to be 4” tall if we want it to hold the proper amount of water across the entire expanse of our space under the stairs. Similarly, none of the 10th graders are going to be here on Wednesday because we all have a field trip. Therefore, we only have 2 WISRD sessions this week. On Wednesday Lela will measure the lip of the reservoir so that we can get the exact dimensions of our basin/ water-catcher underneath the reservoir and give them to Joe so that we can get the proper materials and build it. This week we have also CNC carved a Hydroponics sign that we hung above our space, and we have hung that sign. Similarly, we will transfer the poster that we created for InnovatED LA, etc. about our hydroponics project and hang it above the stairs also, so that the general Wildwood community can know and understand what we are doing down there. Other than that, we are still waiting on our ordered materials from GreenCoast and therefore cannot start building. One of our goals is also to research more/ gain more citations on the Joaquín Valley and salinity tests there. Have an awesome 3 day weekend all and celebrate MLK Jr. Day!
We’re back from Winter Break! By the end of the week we will have ordered all of our materials. Right now, Reid and Lucy are calling GreenCoast to see if they have a file on all of the materials that we have already decided upon in our initial meeting with GreenCoast. The entire hydroponics team is traveling to the Venice GreenCoast site today after school to review the separate pieces of merchandise that we will be buying. Once we have reviewed these products we will call Joe for the credit card number, and then drive all of the material from GreenCoast home with Lela and drop off the material when we return to school later today. The drafted list of materials that was thought of in our extended budget is:
20 gallon reservoir + lid
12 black square pots, 4″ by 4″ by 3.5″
2 50 liter packs of cocoa growing media
1 grid PB light hangers
Black tubing, 1/2″ by 10′
8 3-way slip PVC pipes 3/4″
2 Eco Plus subpump 395 GPH
5 square insert trays
Mondeo Humidome 7″ dome (mini greenhouse)
1 quad thick tray 10″ by 20″ no holes
1 Apollo 2 cycle w/ photoc
1 Sunblaze HO 28 T-5 2′ 8 bulb
It’s the last week before Winter Break! We’re celebrating our success, for our Hydroponics Project has been accepted! We got an $1000 grant for our Hydroponics Project. Therefore, we are wrapping up our semester, talking about the planning of our $1000 grant, and preparing for the construction and testing of our hydroponics unit next semester. We also got the news that Lela’s and I’s article has been rejected for publication because there is no “so what” to our article. So, we can now choose whether or not we are going to revise this article for next semester, or whether we are going to let it go, and move on to other projects. Either way, it is not a top priority because we can’t get published in this semester’s journal anyway. We spent most of this week preparing for our project proposal, which went really smoothly yesterday. Today we have a visitor, and we are practicing our spiel on him. He is a Wildwood Lower School dad and worked at Berkley School in technology and science fields. That’s what we’re up to this week. I hope that all of you have the jolliest Christmases of your lives (even if you don’t believe in Jesus). Ho, ho, ho and a merry Christmas!
I am not going to be in WISRD tomorrow because I am going to NYC. We have been working furiously on our budget plan, which Reid and Lucy are heading. Also we have assigned ourselves jobs for the project proposal, which is being reviewed next Tuesday at lunch by the WISRD board. I am in charge of both completing 1-2 more citations before Winter Break, and for completing personnel descriptions for each of our Hydroponics Team members for the proposal. WE have been communicating with Dylan, who is the current director of the board, to plan a meeting. Although we are not required to attend the meeting, we will so that we can defend and answer questions about any part of our proposal. Therefore, we will write the proposal, send it in on Tuesday. After that, we will participate in the board meeting. That is what we are working on with the Hydroponics Project, as well as our individual journaling. We must also update the page.
Today we are returning from Thanksgiving Break. We have outlined our board for the week which includes the evaluations that we need to write for Joe Wise in order for him to be able to fill out our narratives. These self-assessments are reflections on the entire first semester of work that we have been doing. This is due December 5th, which is Monday. I am going to wait to do this until we have finished our budget plan proposal because, ideally, we would have the first draft of that done by the end of the week.
Thanksgiving break is this week, so no WISRD work is being done! Be grateful for all that you have, and spread love and life.
Shannon Mumenthaler and Colin Flanders came this week for our Fall Lecture Series. I introduced Shannon Mumenthaler at this series in front of our audience. We were preparing for this in all of WISRD on Tuesday, hanging our newly laminated posters, moving tables, putting tablecloths on tables, buying drinks and sustenance for the audience members. I also participated in the Q&A session with them before hand (it was over dinner) and it was really interesting to hear them talk about such depressing work in such a progressive light. It also demonstrated how, even if you do not know what field you want to get into in science, you can still pursue all different kinds of work because intersectionality in the progressive field of cancer research has been one of the major progressions of the last couple of years. Similarly, I was reminded how difficult it is to appeal to the FDA. There is a huge organizational problem in America, isn’t there?
This week was a tough week. The election really threw everything out of wack, although on Thursday we did get some organizational work done. We updated our board, posted on all of our pages, and finished our poster design. I wrote my piece for the poster, which was the overview of the Hydroponics project. This led me to reflect on all of the work that we have done thus far and get re-excited for the beginning to build and get substantial, visual proof of all of the work that we have been doing.
Happy Halloween! We have a 4 day weekend this week, and are therefore missing 1 WISRD class. This week we plan to focus on posting on our personal pages. I have to reread the article Lela and I wrote last week, and post/ work on the research that I started weeks ago, when Reid first asked me. I am super pumped to be back in WISRD full-time (hopefully), and working with my amazing group plus Ihsan. Also, I’m getting to know our new group members: Nathaniel and Cesar. Our poster is due on Monday and we are prepping for that ASAP. I am really happy to be back in the WISRD conference room.
We had another organization revamp by Reid and Lucy this week and volleyball is finally over! This is the schedule that we had on our board last week:
Lela + Maddie:
Write their Article by Friday 10/28/16 and send it to Josie
Lucy + Reid:
Write their Article by Friday 10/28/16 and send it to Josie
Lucy + Lela + Nathaniel + Cesar + Reid:
Create 2 Posters by Monday 11/7/16 and send it to Joe
Do More Research and create a bibliography ASAP
Reid + Lucy:
Make a budget and plan. See the parts we have, what we need to get, and what we can build. ASAP
Nathaniel + Cesar:
Create their Lab ASAP
Post on the Sustainability page
Update Nathaniel and Cesar on the goings on of the Sustainability project and induct them into the cult of hydroponics.
This week, we went to the STEM convention in Anaheim. It was a really eye-opening experience and was super fun. I made two rockets for my little brothers and learned how to solder and re-learned how basic circuits work. Similarly, I tried out my new camera and presented to a lot of folks about the amazing work we do here at WISRD including the ENable project, and a little bit on our own Sustainability project. It was a long day, and we saw this incredible lecture on women in STEM by Reshma Saujani and it was quite empowering.
Next week, we are going to a STEM convention. We are traveling all the way to Anaheim to present about the several different projects that we have going on in the entire Wildwood Institute of Stem Research and Development. The rest of the week, Lela and I are missing. Therefore, we are preparing for this by reacquainting ourselves with the several different projects going on within the WISRD program. We are also continuing to plan and work on our project by talking to Loli and coordinating with out group members, whether we are here or not.
Just to warn all of my followers out there: varsity volleyball is really getting/ going to get in the way of my WISRD experience. I have been absent recently and will continue to be for quite some time because our volleyball matches always land during WISRD time, which is at the end of the day. Otherwise, this week we focused on our goals for our hydroponics program, and Reid and Lucy attempted to catch Lela and I up on what we missed at the meeting. However, Lela and I missed a lot of this week.
Reid and Lucy had an organization phase last week, where they outlined everything we need to do for the next week or few. I am in charge of doing hydroponics research and posting it on the Sustainability page. Reid and Lucy are in charge of creating a budget plan for our hydroponics work and Lela is in charge of doing the poster for our proposal which will be in a couple of months, preferably before Winter Break. They came back with information and papers displaying how much the hydroponics would be, what services Greencoast provides and background information on the capabilities of hydroponics.
Lucy and Reid went on an adventure this week. They journeyed to Greencoast Hydroponics to have a budget meeting with these professional people. They went with the goal of scoping out the hydroponics world, and kicking off our participation in the real world. We will share with you next week about what they found! Unfortunately, Lela and I were unable to attend due to extracurriculars, aka varsity volleyball.
This week we made the appointment for meeting with the hydroponics company. We made an appointment for Friday, 9/23/16. We have yet to make the agenda or the questions that we will ask them. They are offering us an opportunity to earn a free consultation by impressing them and speaking to them. The meeting will be a free consultation where we will bring pictures and ask them what and how we can go through with our experiment. Also, last week we began working in the conference room, with the help of Loli who is the supervisor of our project, I believe, considering that our garden is mostly a biology project. In order to continue our project
Last week in a nutshell: lots of brainstorming. We are still trying to work through the specifics of our project. We are both deciding what we need to do and how to start, what perspective we are coming from, and what part of urban gardening we are going to focus on. We figure that since we are on the west coast we should focus on water, how to water, and how to sustain plants with minimal amount of hydration. This can be used with hydroponics, which is something we are researching and looking into currently. Basically, we want to make sure that our ideas are thoroughly fleshed out before we embark on this journey, so that we can move decisively and with focus. Hydroponics is something we haven’t completely explored yet, and are researching currently. If someone were to take our place right now, they should call and make an appointment with a hydroponics place to come and check out the pictures that we have taken on campus. I think Reid is on this. We are also planning on (a) getting an appointment, (b) focusing in on what we want to do and how we are going to do it, (c) write up a project proposal, (d) update our Sustainability page, etc.
Last week we were brainstorming what our actual project would be. We went through a long process of debating, back and forth, etc. etc. We discussed raising chicks, growing chicks without eggshells, urban gardening, urban planning, the engineering and architectural aspect of planting in our office building (WW), and many other things along those lines. Also, some members of our group are more interested in doing a criminology and psychology portion of this year. We would like to explore crime scene investigation, the psychology of stress, how gardens can help relieve this stress, maternal and paternal instincts as well as how caring for animals and plants manifests itself cerebrally in different people. This would be a thrilling thing for me to study, and I really hope that we can get the chance to explore this this year. Now, we are developing the one project plan on urban agriculture. We are thinking of also competing in the Paradigm Project competition for environmental waste reduction. Talk to ya later, pals. Don’t die on me.
This week we were introduced to the ASTEM/ WISRD program, taught how WISRD is an institute not an elective/ class, and got a tour around the Maker’s Lab. That, right there, ladies and gents was our first session. After that, a few of my peers and I took apart a few computers, which was AWESOME and I learned so much, including what’s inside of those old computer towers, which is such a basic mechanical thing to know. Then, the next day those same peers and I took apart our first printer, another computer, a landline telephone, and began to make boxes to organize the parts that we could salvage in, and left the sorting of the materials we took from the machinery that we took apart to the next group. So, we are throwing away the stuff we couldn’t possibly use and are keeping the stuff we may be able to turn into something cool at a later point. That’s that. Peace out, girl scouts!
This year in WISRD I hope to learn a lot. I want to play to my strengths, and work with people including doing public relations and using my WISRD work to not only give value to the WISRD program, but to also help the greater world around us. I also would like to explore and subject myself to a variety of different kinds of sciences, and really focus in on what I think is the most interesting. Finally, I would like to feel passionate about a project, and experiment with/ achieve in the world of publications, but most of all I would like to keep an open mind and learn with people that are engaged and interested.