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Appropriate Technology Engineering 305 class
Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker. The objective of this project is to create a solar cooker out of local invasive species and waste materials. We want to create a device that can pasteurize water and be an alternative to the use of fossil fuels for cooking food. Our criteria for evaluating the appropriateness of technology are: use of local materials, efficiency, durability, ease of use, ease of construction, cost, impact on environment, impact on culture/lifestyle, education or expertise needed for construction.

Overall this was a successful project. We were able to meet our goal of pasteurizing water. The solar basket can pasteurize water in a quart container in about an hour with optimal conditions. If we were to make the solar basket version 2.0, here are some changes we would make: 1. double up the blackberry runners so that the ribs of the basket are stronger; 2. use another material instead of pampas grass because it causes lumps on the basket's surface, maybe something softer; 3. use all large can lids, of the shiniest quality; and 4.construct the rings that hold the parabolic shape out of a less flexible material than the aluminum and wire that we found.

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Asthma inhaler spacers

Spacer for asthma medications made from a 500cc plastic bottle.

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Community action news

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Jun 11 UK Climate news: Theresa May commits to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050 [1]

Jun 3 California news: How one nonprofit is fighting hunger, food waste, and poverty with kitchen apprenticeships [2]

Jun 2 Network (UK): Alternative Editorial: Capturing and Surfing the Wave [3]

May 30 New Zealand 'wellbeing' budget promises billions to care for most vulnerable [4]

May 24 Spain: The Frugal Leftist Who Shook Up Madrid [5]

Read More...


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Marble bust of Aristotle.
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

AristotleW
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Hot topics / In the news


A windmill is used to power a water pump which fills a swimming pool.
Appropriate technology (AT) is technology that is designed with special consideration to the context of its use - including environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. With these goals in mind, AT proponents claim their methods require fewer resources, are easier to maintain, and have less of an impact on the environment compared to techniques from mainstream technology, which they contend is wasteful and environmentally polluting.

The term is usually used to describe simple technologies proponents consider suitable for use in developing nations or less developed rural areas of industrialized nations. This form of "appropriate technology" usually prefers labor-intensive solutions over capital-intensive ones, although labor-saving devices are also used where this does not mean high capital or maintenance cost. In practice, appropriate technology is often something described as using the simplest level of technology that can effectively achieve the intended purpose in a particular location. In industrialized nations, the term appropriate technology takes a different meaning, often referring to engineering that takes special consideration of its social and environmental ramifications.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Spring 2009: WaterPod: The Spring 2009 semester of ENGR215 Introduction to Design worked with the WaterPod to research, design, and build systems that foster the artists living sustainably onboard a barge in the waterways of New York City.

Spring 2009 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - WaterPod
Bicycle Energy Generator
An alternative way to convert kinetic energy to AC power by means of a bicycle energy generator  
Soil-less Growing System
A system that would grow food for the occupants of the barge without the presence of soil  
Filter Commander 9000
A water filtration system to make drinkable water from rainwater catchment  
Tour de Volts
A bicycle as a power source to provide a bit of extra energy to the WaterPod  
WaterPod Hang Thyme
A hydroponic green wall that is used to grow herbs in minimal amounts of space  
FBD Rainwater Purification
Exists to provide clean drinking water for the WaterPod Project  
Coopatron 5000
A chicken coop designed to supplement the dietary needs of the inhabitants of the WaterPod  
Rocket Stove
To provide a reliable and sustainable means of cooking by minimizing fuel use and optimizing efficiency  
Pico in a Bucket
To harness the kinetic energy of the falling water from the overflow of the WaterPod's water tower  
WindPod Turbine
A vertical access wind turbine that uses the power of the wind coming from any direction to create energy  
Composting Toilet
Duchamp de Loo, is a composting toilet system that can be used and can educate people about environmental ways to get rid of human waste  
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