BioMachine Design Challenge

BioSTEAM Design Challenge

Congratulations to the students below who received Honorable Mentions for their unique designs. In addition, Special Mention goes out for pollinator studies created by Taos Middle School students: Mikayla A. Lucero, Abdullah Khweis, Celeste Trujillo, Malea Baez, Selena Loya, Ashley Rivera, Savannah Smith, Shuniqua Chavez Gurule

Butterfly Seeding Car

Amelia Caldwell

Anansi Charter School, Grade 7

Design Statement: The BioMachine is a solar powered car and the solar panels are inspired by butterfly wings. My BioMachine will have a solar panel that has the design of butterfly wings and the solar panel will be shaped as wings and move like them. This car will have seeds in the tires so that we can plant seeds. This will plant flowers and help pollinators. On the STEMarts site I read "The wings of a butterfly have inspired a new type of solar cell that can harvest light twice as efficiently as before.". My car helps because it plants flowers and since it is solar powered it is good for the environment because it doesn't emit gas.

Indoor Bee Habitat

Rhiannon Montoya

TAFT Middle School, Grade 7

Design Statement: This BioMachine project pushed me to explore deeper into something I'm already interested in: viruses, specifically Covid-19. I obsess over the spreading of germs and this was part of me trying to cope with it. Bat's unique immunity really caught my attention and from there, I began researching how bats immune systems work.Bats are not affected by viruses like humans or other mammals. They aren't affected because of their special immunity that  doesn't initiate an inflammatory response. Although that inflammatory response in humans can be helpful when fighting off infections, it ends up fighting you with the virus. That's what makes us as humans sick when we come into contact with the virus. The idea for this design is a new way of looking at viruses and the impact it has on humans at the root, the host. If we can mimic the way that bat's immune systems react to viruses, we could have a new way of protecting humans from viruses. My drawn out idea is showing the connection of our immune systems to bat's.

Justa Box

Sara Martinez

Taos Charter School, Grade 7

Design Statement: A lot of bees and their colones die during droughts due to the lack of water that is available, so the goal for my machine is to give bees a stable water source to help bees pollinate areas that need it.

My machine is basically a bee box with peat moss and fog harvesting mesh on top of it with a water station next to it that also has peat moss in it. The reason that it uses peat moss is because it is really good at holding in water and keeping it moist even on dry days. The mesh also helps with collecting water from things like fog and rain, it also helps with adding more water to the moss because as it collects water it will get heavier and eventually drip down onto the moss. The water station has the peat moss so that it collects water from the rain and the water jug on top. There are things like rocks and wood in it for bees to land on so they don't drown, however there are drainage holes on it so it doesn't get too full of water. Like I stated before the purpose of this project is to help and give bees a stable water source during drought.

In conclusion the main goal and reason for my machine is to give bees a stable water source so they can survive and pollinate an area that needs it and also help their hive survive. The machine is supposed to give the bees a water source that can collect and hold water even on hot days. The reason that I want my machine is to help bees and their hives during droughts and really hot days throughout the year.

Pollinator Sensation

Marlena Gerken and Simone Salazar-Bahrens

Taos High School, Grade 11

Design Statement: Our Bio Machine is a mechanical pollinator. This idea was inspired by all pollinators, however mainly bees. This machine would be able to fix many growing issues such as famished communities, the decrease in pollinator populations, and lack vegetation growth. Our Bio Machine is a self-sufficient garden with a mechanical pollinator. This machine would be portrayed as a wide bowl made out of metal that spins at a rapid pace. The machine would be filled with pollen and placed in the middle of a biodiverse field of plants. The machine would be turned on remotely and would accelerate in speed until the pollen jets out of the bowl and sprinkles the pollen all over the plants. The pollen would be harvested by removing an entire male flower cluster and placing it in a sealed storage container for several days. After the cluster has dried, it is placed over a micron screen with parchment or wax paper underneath, and a light shake will release the pollen. This is an artistic and visual way of pollination and is agriculturally sound. Since this machine acts as a pollinator it will allow a higher chance of production for plants to fruit, seed, and breed. With this kind of efficiency the pollinator could be a fix to those who do not have access to large food corporations. The machine could also increase local food production and be a sustainable food source. This could create a bio diverse ecosystem in a SELF sufficient garden, which would create a habitat for wildlife. Not only could this garden create a fix for third world countries, but it could also attract more pollinators, and would create an even richer environment for plant growth.