PT STEM CLUB – FLL Aircrafters Robotics Team Blog – 2012

A Shout Out to our Community

A big Shout Out from PT STEM Club to:


4H for all the equipment and support in this new club

FLL for inspiring kids in science and technology

Peninsula College for the scholarship to hear Mark Prensky

Cheryl Merrill for the amazing mentoring on WordPress

Kinetics Festival for supporting our fundraising efforts

Kinetics Fans for bracing us during our darkest hours

4H Sue Hay – who always had yet one more possibility

4H Darleen Munson for her amazing resourcefulness

Marine Science Center for supporting our fundraising efforts

Jefferson Land Trust for supporting our fundraising efforts

Ron Lynn for dropping out of the sky and coaching us

Jed Bothell at Atlas Technologies for a great field trip

Whistle Stop Toy Store for sponsoring the club

Gabriella Ashford for being the rocket fuel

AMW for sponsoring and hosting the club

Jefferson General Hospital for uniforms

QFC Port Townsend for fundraising efforts

Mr. Miller for demystifying lego robotics

President Obama for funding STEM

Kandis Brighton for mentoring

YMCA for Partnering


A special thank you to all the encouragement

from our community and families.


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Reducing Air Pollution – Green

Asthma: Relax You’re Not Going to Die – Berkowitz

Asthma for Dummies – Berger

Ozone Hole – Morgan

Earth in the Hot Seat – National Geographics

An Inconvenient Truth – Al Gore

The Human Body – Parker

Planet in Crisis – Parker

Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming – David and Gordon

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4H Values and Gracious Professionalism

  1. Gracious Professionalism
  2. Coopertition – cooperate and compete
  3. Teamwork – even when its tough
  4. Sharing Assignments
  5. Sometimes we just need a time-out
  6. Talking through bad feelings
  7. Try Again and Again – Never give up
  8. Depend on each other
  9. Trusting others
  10. Laughter and Tears together
  11. Encouraging self worth
  12. Following through
  13. Leadership
  14. Playing Tag for fun – good sportsmanship
  15. Gratefulness to community and mentors
  16. Pride from encouragement
  17. Respect – Self Respect – Self worth
  18. Taking turns
  19. Considering others feelins
  20. 4H Values: Head Heart Hands Health
  21. Practice – Practice – Practice
  22. New Friends – Old Friends
  23. Amazing Field Trips
  24. Everyone has something to offer
  25. Never Give Up

never give up

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Nanobots Can Save the World!

Our Solution Now: More Neighborhood wireless sensors

Our solution now is to put more Nephalometers and Aethalometers around the neighborhoods and wirelessly network them with the local weather station monitor in town. The wind direction and air sensors together would give people more localized info about air quality. This can feed into the AIRNOW APP offered by the EPA. It would help our senior partner know what the air quality is like in their neighborhoods.

Our Solution in the Future: Nanobots

Nanobots can vacuum up toxic atoms.

Nanobots can build cardboard out of atoms instead of trees.

Nanobots can chop atoms and change CO2 into oxygen.

Nanobots can swarm out of watches and freshen the air!

Nanobots Can Save the World!


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Air Quality Now: Indoors

  1. In houses, we have managed our air for a long time.
  2. Cities even have codes to vacuum stale air out of houses.
  3. Our senior partner uses a HEPA air filter to clean the air in his house.
  4. House hold vacuum cleaners also use HEPA filters.
  5. Exhaust fans remove air from houses while cooking, showering and cleaning.
  6. Of all the solutions to keeping indoor air fresh, I have saved the easiest, the most pleasant, and the most

             beautiful way to filter air for last: Indoor  PLANTS!!!!

Air Quality Now: Outdoors

Outdoor air quality is another story. It is harder to control air quality outdoors. We have ways to measure pollution, but cleaning it can be expensive and difficult.


  1. One of the ways to measure pollution is with a Nephelometer. A Nephelometer measures the particle size of pollutants. PM 2.5 microns and smaller is the standard measurement across the country. These microscopic particles are dangerous because they can reach the lungs.
  2. Another way to measure air quality is with a Aethalometer. Aethalometers measure black carbon particles such as diesel exhaust and house wood smoke. Washington State department of Ecology has two Aethalometers that it loans out to communities to test for air quality issues.aethalometer

Port Townsend has only a Nephelometer in the middle of town. Port Townsend also has another set of important sensors. The weather station in Port Townsend is on the clock tower. It measures wind, rain and air pressure.

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Reality Check! Nanobots???

So what are nanobots?

  1. Nanobots are microscopic man-made robots.
  2. Nanobots are made of atoms and molecules.
  3. Nanobots might communicate using accoustic signals.
  4. Nanobots can be tracked using jellyfish phosphorescence.
  5. Nanobots will affect many fields like Medical, Industrial, and Military.
  6. All funding for nanobot self reproduction has been withdrawn for obvious reasons: The self destruction of mankind.

Reality Check

In our research we discovered that nanobots don’t really exist yet. Scientists are experimenting with the concept. They are expecting them to be useful in 10 to 20 years. The closest example of a Nanobot scientists have been able to make is a business card where atoms are lined up in rows to spell “IBM“.

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Air Quality Facts

1. The pulp mill puts out tons of pollutants each year.

2. Nephelometer only measure particle size of 2.5 and smaller.

3. Aethalometer is a sensor that measures carbon to differentiate particles like smoke from diesel.

4. SO2 is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. That is what makes the smog from the mill stink.

5. The mill is powered with coal or oil.

6. NO2 is a colorless gas and it makes smog and acid rain. It also is harmful to the lungs and increases asthma.

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Brainstorming Solutions

We brainstormed these ideas together as a team to help our senior partner reduce exposure to allergens:

  • Purify the pollutants as they are coming out of the pulp mill with air purifiers and scrubbers.
  • Make a special dome that goes over the pulp mill that has trees in it so the trees can clean the air.
  • Control the amount of pollutants that come out of the pulp mill by controlling what goes into it.
  • Have our senior partner run around in a bubble so he is not exposed to stuff that irritates his allergies.
  • Wear a gas mask that filters the air.
  • Wear a force field hat/shield that keeps pollutants out. Remote Nanobots that remove pollutants using sensors to detect them.
  • Use sensors to monitor air quality, and have this information available real time to our senior partner using an app or a watch. 

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We know that our senior partner has allergies caused by:

Dust -Dust mites -Vehicle emission -Pollen – Chimney smoke – Industrial pollution

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Interview with our Senior Partner

What is the cause of your allergies?

I am allergic to dust, dust mites, mold, weeds, certain flowers and the pollutants the pulp mill puts out.

What are your symptoms?

Runny and/or stuffy nose, cough, headache.

Who do you see to help you with your allergies?

A board certified allergist.

Do your allergies get stronger at a certain time of year?

No, my allergies are throughout the year.

When did your allergies start?

When I moved to Port Townsend Washington. I think the pulp mill has a part in it too.

Does your allergies get stronger when you are inside or outside?

Both. But, if the mill plume is blowing on me I have to go inside because my allergies act up.

How do you control your allergies?

I use steroid inhalers:

1. Nasonex

2. Astropro.

I also take lots of vitamins C. It would be nice though if I didn’t have to take any medication.

I filter the air in the house with a HEPA filter

Does your allergies get worse when the pollutants from the pulp mill blow onto you?

Yes. When the mill plume blows on me, my allergies get worse.

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