Grades 6-8 (OPSPARC 2017)

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Last updated 2 years ago

NASA Contest
NASA Contest

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Grades 6-8 (OPSPARC 2017)

Existing Solutions

What is a spinoff? A spinoff is technology that was formely made for life in space, but was later incorporated into everyday life here on Earth. The spinoff that we used is NASA's TRACeR and tribological materials to help improve common trash shoots. NASA's TRACeR works by using uniquely coded sensors. The TRACeR then uses the unique codes to conduct the material analysis and identify distinct materials. Tribological materials are a type of NASA surface coating which can withstand a tremendous load.

Be a Researcher

One of the solutions to solve the problem of people not recyclying, is to give people an initiative. Many recycling plants offer money in exchange for how many pounds of plastic,paper,etc they brought. The money you recieve varies on how much recyable material you brought. This gives people motivation to recycle, since they will recieve "Easy money!"Another solution that they have come up with is for people to buy packed items in recycled cartons. Or to even buy things from recycled materials or less packeging. Overall, there is no permanete solution to this problem. It's more like suggestions rather than solutions.

Brainstormed Solutions- Water Bottle that can filter dirty water- Chair that can help you excersise- Improved formula of mosquito repellent- Improved alarm that notifys you if someone is shoplifting-Better Iphone case

Be An Engineer

Initial Sketches

Our spinoff idea will change the way you recycle forever. Many people these days don't recycle, because it is inconvenient to sort out their recyclable materials from trash. However with our spinoff, you won't need to recycle your trash manually. When you throw away your trash into a trash shoot, it will go into a chamber. Then using NASA's TRACeR and Tribological material, it will identify the object and separate the recyclable material from trash. The trash will then go down the tube into the trash containers outside, while the recyclable materials will continue on until stopped by a TRACeR connected to a lever that separates the materials into three different compartments-paper, plastic, and glass. Our prototype helps alleviate the problem of people being unmotivated to sort out their recyclables.Our landfills are growing! The world around us is becoming flooded with waste each and every day. Our machine ensures that we recycle, so that we contribute to sustaining a clean enviroment. The greatest obstacle we anticipate when designing our technology, is finding materials to simulate the activity of the TRACeRs and the Tribological material. We need to find materials that can imitate a TRACeR's ability to detect substances. We also need to find materials thatare flexible and can hold a great amount of trash.

There are many strengths to this design. First of all, it won't take up any room inside the home at all. The only place it will take up room will be outside where the containers are placed. Also, having the TRACeR's angled at a slanted position will allow the machine to process the material even faster and more efficently. Another weakness is that you have to put in the trash bag upside down in order for the trash to smoothly fall down. Lastly, since there are many components to it, then there is a greater chance of complications.

Weaknesses and Strengths

Prototype Video


We used cardboard as the base or backboard. Not only that, but we also used cardboard to create a cube that would then represent the trash chute. Then the slide would represent the tubes the tras and recyclables would go down. Consequently, the string would be where the trash gets seperated and thrown into the correct bins

1) Cardboard 2) Hot Glue Gun 3) Scissors 4) Spraypaint 5) Ruler 6) Paper 7) Pencil 8) String 9) Hooks

How can we help save our world? Video made by robinlittlewood

Prototype Materials


Original Spinoff Ideas

Decision Matrix

Winning Sketch

Constraints: Time,Cost, Material Availability Criteria: Uniquness,Difficulty,Cost,Enviromental Impact,A decision matrix is a series of brainstormed solutions that is rated on a likert type scale from 1-4. A list of criteria is generated as means for evaluating the brainstormed solutions.The criteria that helped cancel out most of the designs was efficency. We wanted the most efficient design that'll be fast and efficient. If the design is productive, then it will use little to none manpower.The design we chose was able to sucessfully fit into all the criteria we saw fit. It was very efficient and will allow the owner to recycle without all the work. It's also not very difficult, because NASA's TRACeR will be doing most of the heavy work.


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