At Ecotech Institute every student completes a Capstone class where they are required to take what they've learned and apply it through a hands-on team project. Students typically choose a project related to energy efficiency or that can demonstrate alternative energy power. Recently, four students, Tiffany Garduno, Briane Montoya, Jesse Parry, Mark Iverson and Clifford Thompson, worked together to create a watering device that would operate based on soil saturation levels.
The students wanted to make a device that would assist novice gardeners by watering crops, gardens and golf greens according to proper saturation levels. They also thought it could scare off unwelcome pests. The team diligently built the device and tested it over the course of 11 months and presented it to their peers and Capstone instructor, Tom Thorpe, at the end of the term. Through this trial-and-error process, students then explained the successes and challenges of the project.
For this group, Wi-Fi communication and pH control were challenging, but the students gained a new appreciation for attention to detail, as well as an understanding of the impact the environment, specifications and pressure can have on irrigation lines.