The 2017 Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition has come and gone and how exciting was it? First and third place were separated by a mere 3 points!! But let’s not get too far ahead of what was an exciting two days!
The Competition began for some who arrived from far away like our Philippine and Singapore teams who arrived days early and who had time to explore the area around Stony Brook University before the 13th when we gathered at the University to start a day of touring and fun.
Spellman High Voltage Electronics graciously hosted our early arrivals from Florida, New Jersey, and Maine, along with our new international friends! Jim spoke about Spellman’s markets and applications while Paul informed us about the high voltage and technology associated with those products Spellman is internationally known for! After hearing the informative words, our group split up for tours of the headquarters of Spellman High Voltage and the tour did not disappoint, garnering high praise from our student participants, “I enjoyed the trip to Spellman as I managed to better understand the workings of the Company and what they did.”
It was from there we left and headed the Ward Melville Historical Organization (WMHO), the group in Stony Brook Village that runs and owns many of the historical buildings in and around the Three Village area where we toured The Stony Brook Grist Mill. The Stony Brook Grist Mill, Long Island’s most completely equipped working mill, is listed on the National and New York State Register of Historic Places. It was hotter than Hades inside the mill and that heat prevented us from taking our walking tour, but that is not all!
The Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s Educational and Cultural Center in the Stony Brook Village Center is a state-of-the-art venue that offers a wide variety of events throughout the year and we were lucky enough to visit it during their Nikola Tesla exhibit! There was loads of information about the least known inventor of the 19th Century and we even got an example of a Tesla coil! (See pictures above.) Some of our students were brave enough to be part of Tesla’s “free electricity” experiments when they held a neon tube and it was lit up without being plugged in (or shocking the people holding them)! After our tour around Spellman and the WMHO, it was off to Port Jefferson where the teams were given time to explore the town (one of my favorite places to visit in the summer). Teams had a great time exploring this local hot spot of shopping, food and fun. If you’re ever here, stop by, you won’t be disappointed!
Then came the 14th…
And it was on to the Competition itself and Stony Brook University’s (SBU) Center for Leadership and Service, or LDS, building. The Center for Leadership and Service is the main site of activities and events for the Undergraduate College of Leadership and service but on the 14th was dressed up and ready for some spectacular STEM-based innovations and the teams that created them!
It was thanks to Joan Dickinson and the staff in SBU’s Community Relations Department that the students, chaperones and families were treated to speeches by Ms. Judy Greiman, the SBU Chief Deputy to the President and Senior VP of Government & Community Relations and Mr. Fotis Sotiropoulos, the Dean of the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences! Both enthusiastic and passionate fans of what it takes to advance science and wildly impressed by what our teams came up with!
It was then off the part for which all the teams came for…Their time in front of our judges. Our judges hailed from both Spellman and Stony Brook. Thank you! Your comments showed just how impressed you were by the teams!
- Mr. Rich MacArthur, Chief Engineer at Spellman High Voltage Electronics, working on X-Ray generators, magnetron power sources and electron gun and beam power circuits.
- Dr. Xinwei Mao, Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University, an environmental engineering expert dealing with wastewater and drinking water treatment as well as bioremediation of groundwater and soil.
- Ms. Lisa Crawford, Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University, studying metabolic impacts of heavy metals and organic contaminants on sharks, skates and rays in Long Island waters.
While each team had their 15 minutes with the judges, the remainder of the teams and all chaperones, family and the press had their chance to meet with the teams and get a little insight as to the incredible ideas the teams came up with. From an upgrade on aquaponics to compost-powered warm-water-generating floor heaters, super silk as a filtration material to a web-based program to help entire homes save electricity, the ideas were far ranging and all incredible! The local press was floating around the room asking questions of Dr. Loren Skeist of Spellman and Dr. Ray Ann Havasy of the Center for Science Teaching & Learning, the two organizations that came together with Stony Brook to put together this event!
But the day belonged to the top three and the reason you’ve kept reading. So I’ll get to the point Each one of them has a blurb about their incredible idea and each is seen with Dr. Skeist and Dr. Havasy.
1st place, team SuperSilk from Plainview, New York, USA: Ms. Audrey Shine and Ms. Alyssa Iryami… Utilizing Bombyx mori in the production of polymeric graphene enhanced “SuperSilk”. This team used a special diet of graphene infused food to create a super-strong silk made from the Bombyx mori. This diet helped increase the tensile strength and optimal chemical properties as a result of Graphene integration render SuperSilk the prime candidate for use as a membrane in the creation of a filtration device.
2nd Place, team Philippine Science High School- Main Campus 4 from Quezon City, Philippines: Mr. Justine Opulencia, Mr. Batara Maded III and Mr. Philippe Bungabong… Development of an integrated online system for the regulation of household electricity consumption. This team created an online system that allows users to regulate their household appliances’ electricity consumption and allowed the user to see the electric usage in graphical form and help households save on financial and electrical resources.
3rd Place, team Eco-Breathe from Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Mr. Jubin Goji… Created a portable low-cost filtration system for kerosene lamps aimed at combatting sick building syndrome (SBS) in low-resource regions. This team created a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable device that would have the capability of removing toxic air pollutants and chemicals from the exhaust of kerosene lamps and other combustion-based lighting sources and provide a solution to combustion-induced SBS.
Although our winners were front and center, let us not forget the other competitors. For their work may not have placed in the top three, but their work was equally impressive! In no particular order the remaining teams are:
- Team Aquaponics- Farmers of the Future from Moorhead, Minnesota, USA
- Team Cloud Zer0 from Singapore, Singapore
- Team Dynamic Derek Duo from Lincroft, New Jersey, USA
- Team Power Rangers from Freehold, New Jersey, USA
- Team MSSM-Penguins from Limestone, Maine, USA
- Team Casual-dehyde from Freehold, New Jersey, USA
Congratulations to all of the teams, your ideas were all incredible!
I know that there are great things and accomplishments in your futures. Keep striving, improving and innovating and nothing will stand in your way!
You all created ideas that will Create A Greener Future!