Florida Tech to Host Student Design Showcase at the Clemente Center April 22
By Adam Lowenstein, Florida Tech News Bureau // April 16, 2022
Public Invited to Explore More Than 100 Projects
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Extracting nutrients from Martian-like soil using a handmade bioreactor.
Gauging the mental health of college students via an app. Designing a reusable, 3-D printed lunar landing pad fabricated primarily with materials found on the Moon. Testing blood glucose levels using saliva, not blood.
These are not tasks cribbed from the pages of a sci-fi novel.
They are projects from the minds and hands of Florida Tech students, and these and about 95 similarly impressive inventions, posters, and assemblies will be on display Friday, April 22, as Florida Tech holds its annual Northrop Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase in the Clemente Center on campus.
Returning to an in-person format after COVID necessitated virtual events the past two years, the 2022 showcase is open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In 2009, a $1 million endowment gift from Northrop Grumman Corporation provided ongoing support for students’ work. Sponsorships from other local and national companies also assist.
These gifts reflect a commitment to boosting interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and the value of learning beyond the classroom.
Here’s a closer look at some of the projects featured in the 2022 showcase:
Project: Bioleaching and Hydrogen Production of Anabaena in Presence of JEZ-1 simulant: Possible Fuel for Space Exploration?
What it is: Featuring a student-made bioreactor, this project seeks to extract nutrients from Martian soil, known as regolith.
The cyanobacteria Anabaena cylindrical is placed in the bioreactor to determine its ability to “biomine accessible nutritional elements” from the Jezero Crater regolith. Using on-site resources will be critical to successful space colonization efforts.
Project: Melanoma Detection Lotion
What it is: The goal of this project is to create a lotion or cream that will create a detectable change when in contact with melanoma cells. It will serve as an early detection device to reduce the number of progressive skin cancer cases.
The lotion should be applied normally and would ideally produce a reaction that can be seen with the naked eye.
Project: Lunar Landing Pad (LLP)
What it is: This project consists of designing a reusable lunar landing pad fabricated with mostly on-site resources, fabricated via a 3-D printer that has been modified to print with a regolith concrete solution instead of polylactic acid, or PLA.
Project: Mental Health App
What it is: Amid the COVID pandemic, many students were isolated at home. The lack of social interaction and ability to go has been shown to be deleterious to mental health.
These student designers are seeking to provide an app to help monitor the mental health and factors relating to it among college students.
What it is: The goal of this project is to accurately determine blood glucose levels using saliva. Students will create a device similar to a blood glucose monitor that collects a small amount of saliva to read the participant’s blood glucose levels.
This project and research would be extremely useful for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Project: NASA Robotic Mining Competition
What it is: The NASA RMC team competes in the NASA Lunabotics Competition, where members design, fabricate, and test a rover capable of lunar mining in competitions held at the Kennedy Space Center.
Aerospace engineering major George Nehma, pictured above, works on the project at the L3Harris Student Design Center.
At the conclusion of the showcase, projects will be recognized with a host of awards including Best in Show and category winners.
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