Saturday, February 20, 2010

Preparing to Finalize Our Design

As we approach our spring reconnaissance trip, Dr. Burgin has had us hard at work on leaning the essentials of water testing, tank sizing, constructing pvc pipe and determining the prices of our project materials.

We visited Dr. Shannon Stokes' lab to learn what kind of contaminants to look for, how to test for them and what containers to use to store our samples in. The commonly looked over aspects of water testing, such as using amber jars rather than clear plastic ones to store our samples that are sensitive to light, were addressed, in order to ensure that we are able to provide potable water.

Then we had to develop a programs in excel, to determine what our tank capacity and water demand would be for our school. These programs can be used as a resource if any tweaks in the design have to be made and we need to reevaluate aspects of our water system like the pump capacity or the amount of water that should be in our storage tank at any point during the day.

This past Wednesday, we went to a lab under the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall to learn how to connect PVC pipe.
We all got a shot at connecting two pvc pipes and learned what safety measures need to be taken when we get to lay our pipe distribution system in Patriensa.

This coming week we are to report local prices of pvc pipe in Ghana. We have also gotten price estimates for our water testing materials, and have been refining our budget. These assignments and other independent inquiries have enabled us to reduce our summer budget from $61,000 to $49,000.

Also in the process of refining our budget, we discovered a complication in how Delta airline miles can be donated. Any donation of miles will be taken as a pledge, in order to avoid transfer service fees. So, the way donated miles will work is by the donor calling the airline and reserving a ticket under one of our names with the amount of donated miles applied towards the cost. Only a donation of 180,000 miles can be used to cover the whole 2-way ticket, but donations up to 30,000 miles can be applied to our tickets to minimize the price. If each team member traveling this summer can get 30,000 miles donated towards their ticket, we will be able to save $3,000!

Also, we have recently learned that the Projects in Under-served Communities class has been nominated for a national award associated with the American Council of Higher Education. We are 1 of 4 nominees vying for the 2010 International Award for Innovative Practices in Higher Education. The winner will be announced in early March and we'll be sure to keep you updated!

1 comment:

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