Sunday, February 28, 2016

Battle of the Brains

One of my favorite things about working in the Youth Services department at the library, are the opportunities outside of our walls and I was excited to be asked to attend the 2016 Battle of the Brains competition at Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee.  Battle of the Brains is a competition where young adults in the community are tasked with creating solutions to existing problems and to help assist in the planning of the future for their community.

This year, students were instructed to use math and science to tackle issues affecting Germantown's future.  I saw projects ranging from a station to change out the batteries of electric cars to increase range, car radios that would automatically turn volume levels down, a sort of hover train transit system, and many more!

I took the chance to write a little more about two of my favorite projects, one of which one First Place!

"Classroom of the Future"

Lucas M. and Alejandro S. are two students who are passionate about learning.  These are two young men who are dissatisfied with the current education system and who have spent countless hours pursuing topics discussed in the classroom in their own time.

Their project, Classroom of the Future, is an idea for a school where students can learn life skills, have the opportunity to be hands on with technology and other resources, and (best of all) are encouraged to learn and focus on topics they are passionate about.

It is encouraging and inspiring to see that youth in our community are passionate about learning and are concerned about the education system enough to come up with a plan to make it better.

"Sprinkler Sensors"

The four students who worked on the solution for over-consumption of water for lawns are resourceful and excited about their project.  Their project considered three main areas; a rain level detector, a soil moisture sensor, and grass types working together to conserve water in Germantown.

The use of Fescue grass, a drought resistant grass that has deep roots and can help prevent erosion is just one part of the project. This grass would appeal to Germantown residents and businesses because it stays green year round.

Now, the two most important aspects of this project are the rain level detector which, unlike current models that are tripped by any rainfall, would only be activated when a certain level of rainfall has been reached.

Additionally, a smarter soil moisture sensor would monitor the level of moisture in the soil rather than the mere existence of moisture.  These three components were combined to create a feasible plan that could be implemented in the very near future.

Congratulations to the winning team; Chae-Yeon P., Sally H., Mr. Kim (whose first name I did not get, sorry), and Hameedha K.

The 2016 Winners!
And many congratulations to all of the students that participated in the 2016 Battle of the Brains competition.  I was inspired by your passion and dedication and can't wait to see what you create next.  The sky is the limit and you are already flying!