Go Green!

There are only so many hours in the day, but still, students in the second session of Digital WAVE this summer managed to build an entire 3D house in a virtual world in just 2 weeks. The goal was to show all the ways that we can use “green energy” in our houses, schools, and communities, with solar panels, wind turbines, energy-saving appliances, and lots more. During the program, they also went on a field trip to Oleta River State Park with the Museum’s Reclamation Project Director Fernando Bretos, put together electrical circuits powered by water, wind, and solar power, built and tested remotely operated vehicles, and even climbed into a real OceanGate submarine in the Museum. They also met with Mark Spalding, CEO of the Ocean Foundation, from within the virtual world. Mark (through his avatar) talked about the importance of blue carbon, which is the atmospheric carbon absorbed by coastal environments like mangroves and seagrass beds.  Students even met with a Museum employee who lives “off-the-grid” without electricity or running water – proving it can still be done! All of these experiences, along with their own research, helped students design our energy efficient virtual house. So instead of reading a lot of words to describe what Digital WAVE students did over their summer vacation, enjoy the slideshow of pictures below.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Testing solar powered circuits in the sunlight outside the Museum

Operating their own ROV design in a tank in the Museum's Sea Lab

Measuring trees at Oleta to determine the carbon they absorb from the air

Climbing into a real OceanGate submarine at the Museum

Designing an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly 3D virtual house

The house has a green roof, solar panels, CFL bulbs, and energy efficient appliances

Solar chimneys provide power by heating air which then rises and powers the turbine

The bathroom has CFL bulbs, a ceiling fan for cooling without AC, and a water efficient toilet

Presenting virtual 3D projects, like this wind turbine, at the Digital WAVE Family Event

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