Today, we had our first open house webinar with other InvenTeams across the country. Tony Perry, the main Lemelson-MIT facilitator, led discussion in topics such as writing blog posts, community outreach and team updates. It was nice to meet other teams who share the same enthusiasm we have on our project. The Communications Team met with our principal and STEM magnet coordinator to do outreach with HISD media outlets. The Financial Team created a Twitter account, filled out a form with Southwest Airlines (concerning sponsored transportation), and the Technical Team discussed the fuel tank size, looked up the current fuel tank for our donated school bus, and received the wires for the electrical component of the project. They alsoused the thermoelectric tiles to charge a battery.
Next week will be the last meeting we have before the Winter Break. Our goal is to purchase our final components so we can start building our first (and hardest) prototype.
Twitter: @ EIHS_InvenTeam
Currently, HISD uses B5 (Diesel with 5% Biodiesel) in most of its bust fleet. Research shows that B100 (100% Biodiesel) would reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, but as a fuel it tends to “gel” in colder temperatures and this can lead to engine malfunction. The EIHS InvenTeam is currently developing “The Slush Buster”, which would be an automated system for regulating fuel viscosity in any diesel vehicle. Our invention would facilitate the use of B100 in any climate, as the current, widespread solution is simply to reduce the blend of biodiesel if the weather gets cold. We hope that our invention can be used by buses in HISD, and eventually vehicles in all parts of the country!