On June 17, the Sturgis InvenTeam showcased the computer-aided design of their improved Marine Mammal Rescue Transporter at MIT’s EurekaFest 2016. In this two-hour event, Sturgis was one of sixteen schools nationwide to present their inventions to scientists and professors from all over the world as part of the Lemelson-MIT Foundation’s initiative to inspire youth creativity and problem-solving.
After the exhibition of the high school student inventions at the Stata Center on MIT’s main campus, the student exhibitors packed into MIT’s Kirsch Auditorium. There, the collegiate winners of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prizes discussed their technology-based inventions, which ranged from completely automated fast food restaurants to glasses that could translate sign language. The day ended with a friendly competition among high schools to build the tallest tower only using spaghetti, yarn, and masking tape!
Seniors Emily Spinello and Mark Agostinelli used SolidWorks, a professional CAD program, to create engineering prints for mass production of the carrier.
Mr. Harry and the Sturgis team simulated a dolphin stranding by using a life-size plastic dolphin that was filled with water to make its weight comparable to that of an actual dolphin. They used the “3-fold technique” to gently lift the dolphin onto their modified sling, to attach the sling to the carrier via a pulley system, and to raise and stabilize the connected sling within minutes. Mr. Harry expressed his satisfaction with the modified trapezoidal frame and pulley system, both of which allow for maximized stability. He was also impressed by the integrated weighing capability that minimizes the number of operators required.
Led by dedicated faculty advisor Dr. Pete Sampou, the team has made significant progress in 2016.
While Sturgis InvenTeam awaits direction from IFAW regarding the next steps, the team is currently working on a joint utility patent application in partnership with Woods Hole. The team remains on track to have Sturgis Carriers deployed across Cape Cod, and potentially beyond Cape Cod, before graduation in June!