Who are you?
My name is Will Bohmann. I am a teacher with CTE. I have a great job. I have the opportunity to work with teachers and students on all kinds of technology rich projects and I provide professional development on educational technology tools and how to bring them into the classroom to promote learning. My actual title is Educational Technology Integration Specialist or ETIS for short.
What did you make?
Right now I am making an Arduino project in conjunction with our Natural Resources PreTech program and our Computer Systems Technology program. I am designing a wireless network using Xbee communicators and the Arduino micro-controller. The goal is to build a sensor and wireless relay the internal temperatures of a 30/yd mound of woodchips. CTE is using this mound of woodchips to heat our greenhouse. As the mound decomposes, it produces heat. The students placed 600 feet of tubing in the mound. Water is pumped through the tubing and circulates through greenhouse and back to the mound. Currently the mound is between 140-150 degrees on the inside – that’s hot! – Enough to heat the greenhouse. You could even heat your hot tub this way. By using remote sensors, we can observe internal temperatures in real time without having to stand in the cold. In addtion, I am designing a housing unit on the 3D printer to hold the hardware, sensors and Arduino. By using the 3D printer, I can do rapid prototyping before finalizing a design that best fits the project.
Pictured: 3D printed component to house the hardware, sensors, and Arduino
How did you make it?
I’ve been learning about Arduinos for awhile and just started to learn about the Xbees. The library purchased a great book titled “Building Wireless Sensor Networks” by Robert Faludi. I’ve also been working with Tinkercad (a great and simple online 3D design program) to design housing prototypes. The Ultimaker 3D printer in the library has been a useful tool for quick design prints.
What did you learn while making it that might be useful to others?
I’ve learned to accept my failures in the project. Most of the learning takes place in the doing. You have to make some mistakes, gather feedback from others to improve your designs. I’ve also learned that it’s a good idea to keep a journal of your design process and project, that way you can review the progress and learning along the way.