The Amenders Archimedes Screw Pump Final Design.
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Authors Richard Jett Williams
Made Yes
Replicated No
Cost USD 67.67
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The objective of this project is to construct a device that aids the students of Zane Middle School in Eureka, California in the understanding of how civilizations moved water throughout the centuries. Through participating in the Engr205 Introduction to Design course at Cal Poly Humboldt and the University's partnership with Zane Middle School, a team referred to as The Amenders, shown in Figure 1, was born. By a process of trial and error, we have found that a model of an Archimedes Screw serves as a useful teaching aid. The Archimedes Screw instilled a curiosity among students that left them eager to learn more.

Background[edit | edit source]

Figure 1: The Amenders.

Joan Crandell is a 6th grade teacher at Zane Middle School. Zane Middle School is a 6th-8th grade school located in Eureka, Ca. Zane focuses on STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). Joan contracted with our team, The Amenders, to build a water transportation demonstration device for her 6th grade classroom.

Problem statement and criteria[edit | edit source]

The objective of this project was to build a device that demonstrates how water is transported between two target reservoirs. The Amenders designed an Archimedes Screw that moves water from a low reservoir to a higher reservoir located 3 feet above the ground. The design criteria given by the client, Joan Crandell, are listed in Table 1.

Table 1:Weighted Criteria
Criteria Weight Constraints
Safety 10 Will not jeopardize safety of user(s).
Educational Value 10 Will provide students with a better understanding of how water is moved.
Ease of Use 7 Usable without prior understanding.
Durability 9 Will last for 5 years with reasonable care and maintenance.
Inspiration 8 Device usage promotes inquisitive interjections.
Aesthetics 6 Allows users to visually observe the process.
Setup Time 5 Set up time not to exceed 10 minutes.
Cost 1 Less than $400 total.

Description of final project[edit | edit source]

The device being implemented is modeled after an Archimedes Screw. An Archimedes screw is a device used to transport water from a low elevation to a higher elevation. By using this model, students will be able to observe water ascending through the spiral tubes as they rotate the handle. The design consists of three main parts: the Archimedes Screw, the frame to support the screw, and two reservoirs for containing water.

Costs[edit | edit source]

The following figure and tables address the materials used to build the Archimedes Screw Pump, associated costs, design time in hours, and estimated maintenance cost in hours in Figure 3, Table 2, and Table 3, respectively.

Figure 3: Total Design Hours for Archimedes Screw Pump.
Table 2: Materials Cost
Item Amount Price Cost
1/2" PVC Elbow 2 $0.49 $0.98
2x6" Wood 2 Donated $0
2x4" Wood 2 Donated $0
Screws 4 $0.23 $0.92
1/2" X 2' PVC 1 $1.39 $1.39
4" PVC cap 1 $3.99 $3.99
2 oz. Gorilla Glue 1 $4.99 $4.99
Sand Paper 1 $1.49 $1.49
5/8 ID X 7/8 OD Vinyl Tube 17 $1.29 $21.93
Spray Paint 2 $2.49 $4.98
PVC Reducer 1 $15.00 $15.00
Deck screws 1 $5.00 $5.00
PVC cement 1 $7.00 $7.00
Total - - $67.67
Table 3: Estimated Maintenance Cost in Hours per Year
Action Hours
Tighten Frame Hardware 1.0
Tighten Screw Hardware 0.5
Total Hours 1.5

Testing Results[edit | edit source]

Two small scale models of the Archimedes Screws, shown in figure 4, were showcased at Zane Middle School's Galileo Day on April 3rd, 2015. The devices were a great success, and students and teachers alike lined up to use the Archimedes Screws. After using the device, students were eager to interject with questions about the Archimedes Screw. Upon the success at Galileo Day, a large-scale Archimedes Screw was built and tested. The large-scale Archimedes Screw was tested for a rotations to move one liter of water, water moved per rotation, and average flow rate. The results of this testing are summarized in Table 3 and Table 4 below.

Table 4: Testing Results
Rotations to Move 1 Liter of Water Water Moved per Rotation (Liters per rotation) Average Flow Rate (Liters per second)
152 0.0066 0.0087
Table 5: Setup and Clean up Times
Setup Time (minutes) Clean up Time (minutes)
3.75 3.08

Components[edit | edit source]

Shown below are the various components of the Archimedes Screw Pump. Some components are depicted to show how they will fit together.

Discussion and next steps[edit | edit source]

The Archimedes Screw successfully transports water from an elevation of approximately 3 feet. The next step is for Joan Crandell to utilize the device in her classroom at Zane Middle School. During the final decision process the outcome of the Delphi matrix lead to a final design that was entirely different than the Archimedes Screw Pump presented above. Originally our team wanted to combine multiple water moving devices to offer many different ways of moving water. It was our participation in Zane Middle School's fist annual Galileo Day that changed this. The students at Zane's Galileo Day interacted with the prototypes and the feedback that was given strongly suggested that the students were much more inspired and interested by the screws than any of the other devices. Additionally, it was apparently obvious that the level of durability was going to require some great improvements. From this great opportunity given to us by Zane Middle School and Zane faculty, Galileo Day marked the birth of an entirely new and improved final design; a larger Archimedes Screw Pump, capable of moving larger amounts of water that will hold up for years of extensive usage to come.

Video[edit | edit source]


Team Members[edit | edit source]

Contacts[edit | edit source] | | |

References[edit | edit source]

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FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Keywords archimedes screws, physics demonstration, pvc, wood, education
SDG SDG04 Quality education
Authors TheAmenders
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Organizations Category:Engr205 Introduction to Design, Cal Poly Humboldt, Category:Zane Middle School
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 5 pages link here
Aliases Zane Water Transportation, Zane Middle School archimedes screw pump
Impact 2,173 page views
Created April 12, 2015 by TheAmenders
Modified February 28, 2024 by Felipe Schenone
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