Urban Farming Mech. Eng. and History Teaching ProjectPublic
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This 4/3 MQP submission includes an irrigation system design group project as well as an individual history learning module project, satisfying Mechanical Engineering and Humanities and Arts capstone requirements, respectively. The engineering capstone, titled “Urban Farming Project,” served project sponsor World Farmers in developing and proposing alternative irrigation methods to replace existing practices at Flats Mentor Farm (FMF). FMF is a 4-acre area of farmland currently irrigated by pumping well water to holding tanks, from which farmers must fill and carry buckets to manually water crops. Working in conjunction with representatives from FMF, the project team considered various irrigators, filtration systems, and pump designs, and on its final design iteration decided on a MegaNet sprinkler system driven by a gasoline-powered pump, using layflat line and PVC connections. The team built a small-scale prototype simulating irrigation for a 25’ by 25’ plot using a 0.5 hp pump. Insecure layflat line and slip-on PVC connections prevented the prototype from reaching the desired pressure (35 psi). Nevertheless, the irrigation system prototype demonstrated proper MegaNet sprinkler function at low pressure (6 psi). Prototype irrigation system function, despite a proportionally weaker prototyping pump, also suggests proper pump function in the full-scale design. The humanities capstone, titled “A Multimedia Black Panther Party Learning Module,” is a 7-day United States history learning module focusing on the Black Panther Party (BPP), a Black political organization operating primarily in the United States from 1966 to 1982. The module is based on California Content Standards for 11th grade US History, with interdisciplinary potential in English and STEM. Module content was developed based on critiques of traditional educational methods, using strategies such as active learning and constructivism to help students develop unique, factually supported analyses of module content. Assigned readings (which include philosophical, political, and purely historical readings), are balanced with music, podcasts, films, and documentaries for student engagement and accessibility. Module length may be adjusted by omitting module activities, or extended using optional materials.
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