Page 9


IN WATER? much information as possible while protecting the camera so that it can be used multiple times.” After starting in SketchUp, the current flotation device was designed in TinkerCAD, but Caden said he’s also learning modeling software Blender and other CAD softwares to find the right fit for the project. He’s been working with partner NWA3D to perfect the printing technique. “NWA3D is helping with 3D printing advice, and they’re walking us through getting the best watertight field for all of our components to optimize our 3D print,” he said. Caden’s future plans include the ability to add water quality testing equipment to his project, either some kind of sample collector or analysis device. Beyond that, he said, he hopes to see it motorized one day. In fact, that’s actually where the idea started.


“The cameras are pricey, so I was worried about just throwing it into the storm drain and trusting that we would know where it ended up,” he said. “But after looking over the maps that we received from the University of Arkansas, I feel more comfortable.”

more research, a little more testing and a little more knowledge about the topic. So I definitely underestimated it, and I was going way overboard originally.”

All in all, he said, he’s grateful to have the chance to explore a latent interest in technology and electronics and looks forward to taking the project into next year.

Caden said that learning process has helped him.

“It is really cool that EAST provides an opportunity for kids to use technology to do the kinds of things they’re interested in and serve not just the school, but the entire community.“n

“I’m pretty bad at keeping things organized. Like I said, at the very beginning of the project I was all over the place,” he said. “But I think this project has helped improve my organizational skills by developing a project in a way that will help me be more successful.” Oddly, though, success means literally tossing his project down the drain. He’s done testing, having used a tennis ball to adjust balance, and now feels more confident in the device itself. But it’s still a little nerve wracking.

“When I first got the idea, I immediately went to a notepad, and I was sketching down all kinds of ideas using an Arduino and motors,” he said, envisioning a controlled, underwater drone. “But after a week or two of brainstorming, it kind of came to me: all that stuff may not be possible just yet. It may require a little WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY


Winter 2017 EQ  

The quarterly magazine of the EAST Initiative.

Winter 2017 EQ  

The quarterly magazine of the EAST Initiative.