Posts Tagged ‘ Reclamation Project ’

Go Green!

There are only so many hours in the day, but still, students in the second session of Digital WAVE this summer managed to build an entire 3D house in a virtual world in just 2 weeks. The goal was to show all the ways that we can use “green energy” in our houses, schools, and communities, with solar panels, wind turbines, energy-saving appliances, and lots more. During the program, they also went on a field trip to Oleta River State Park with the Museum’s Reclamation Project Director Fernando Bretos, put together electrical circuits powered by water, wind, and solar power, built and tested remotely operated vehicles, and even climbed into a real OceanGate submarine in the Museum. They also met with Mark Spalding, CEO of the Ocean Foundation, from within the virtual world. Mark (through his avatar) talked about the importance of blue carbon, which is the atmospheric carbon absorbed by coastal environments like mangroves and seagrass beds.  Students even met with a Museum employee who lives “off-the-grid” without electricity or running water – proving it can still be done! All of these experiences, along with their own research, helped students design our energy efficient virtual house. Enjoy our photo slideshow!

 

Students built solar-powered circuits and tested them in the sunlight outside the Museum… took measurements of trees at Oleta River State park to determine the carbon they absorb from the atmosphere… built and tested ROVs in a tank at the Museum’s Sea Lab…

 

…climbed into a real OceanGate submarine at the Museum…  and tons more! All of this resulted in an energy efficient, environmentally friendly virtual house with a green roof, solar panels, CFL light bulbs, energy efficient appliances, just to name a few.

 

 

One green energy source was a solar chimney, which provides power by heating air which then rises and powers the turbine. The bathroom has CFL bulbs, a ceiling fan for cooling without AC, and a water efficient toilet. And at the end of the program, students presented their projects, including this bird-friendly wind turbine, to their families and Museum staff. Jobs well done!

 

 

 

The Greenest (Virtual) House in Miami!

The Digital WAVE students have learned a lot this summer – building their own circuits powered by wind, water, and the Sun… following through the Energy Tracker exhibits at the Museum… meeting Martin Keeley, Education Director of the Mangrove Action Project via a virtual world… going on a field trip with Fernando Bretos of the Museum’s Reclamation Project to plant mangrove seedlings… researching energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies. All of this helped inform student projects, with the big goal to create a 3D virtual exhibit of the “greenest house in Miami.” In the virtual world, students built virtual wind turbines, attenuator buoys to harness wave energy, and solar panels, and they built a virtual house with energy efficient appliances, a green roof, and water recycling abilities. On the last day of the program, students presented their projects to family and friends at the Family Event, held at the Museum. They shared what they had created and what they had learned, and left inspired to suggest or make whatever changes they could in their homes, schools, and lives. Take a tour of our virtual house below!

Digital WAVE house, with green roof

Wind Turbine

Solar panels, compost bins, and recycling containers

CFL light bulbs and ceiling fans

Presenting student projects at the Digital WAVE Family Event

July 3rd, 2012  in Events, Student Work No Comments »

Restoring Mangroves on Virginia Key

Being in south Florida, we are literally surrounded by precious natural environments – the ocean, the coral reefs, mangroves, the Everglades, to name a few. That means we are in a position to negatively affect our surroundings if we don’t pay attention, but we are also in a position to make a positive difference if we are willing to try. Thanks to Fernando Bretos and the Museum’s Reclamation Project, which works to restore mangrove environments in south Florida, Digital WAVE students were able to contribute to the restoration effort. After learning about the Reclamation Project in the morning, students saw just how interconnected everything in the world really is. Everyone was assigned to be a plant or animal in a mangrove habitat (i.e. fish, seagrass, humans, mangroves, etc), and stood in a circle. One student started out with a ball of string, and that person threw it to another person who represented a plant or animal directly connected to them by the food chain. The second person threw it to the third, and so on, until we had a literally interconnected web, showing that if one thing is in trouble, we are all in trouble. With this inspiration in mind, Fernando took the students to a mangrove restoration site on Virginia Key. Students stepped into the ankle-deep muddy water (sometimes knee-deep when you least expected it), and planted mangrove seedlings, doing their part to help all of us.