EurekaFest, here we come: Inventors Club to host Belizean dinner
Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 12:27pm
When & Where: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 17, first floor, Uni High
Why: Uni Inventors Club is raising money to send its team to Boston to participate in EurekaFest at MIT from June 16 to 19
What: A meal of traditional Belizean fare, including beans and rice (the beans soaked in coconut milk), baked chicken with a citrus and pineapple glaze, roasted sweet potatoes, green salad with fresh fruit, fried plantains, and more
How much: Tickets bought in advance are $8 for students, $13 for adults; tickets bought at the door will be $2 extra; children under 6 eat for free
URBANA — This Saturday evening Uni students, parents, and teachers will get a chance to sample Belizean cuisine and support a good cause.
The dinner will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Uni's first floor. The meal will feature traditional Belizean fare provided by Pat Fernandez, the 2010 recipient of the Colin Thorn Award for volunteer service at Uni High and mother of junior Will Fernandez.
"We will be serving a classic beans and rice dish, which is just scrumptious," she said. "The beans are soaked in coconut milk. Along with that we are serving a baked chicken with a citrus and pineapple glaze, roasted sweet potatoes, a green salad with fresh fruit, a lime pie, and a coconut flan. And, fried plantains — the Caribbean potato chip."
Club members have been selling tickets during lunch this week. Admission is $8 for students and $13 for adults. Tickets bought at the door will be $2 extra. Children under 6 eat for free.
The 15-member group won a $7,620 grant to develop its project, The New ERA: Effluent Removal Apparatus.
"The grant we received from Lemelson-MIT does not cover room and board or travel to the culminating conference, EurekaFest," said senior club member Amy Ding. "Therefore, we are trying to raise money …. All proceeds go toward our trip, and money not used toward the trip will be used toward further developments of our project."
In addition to organizing the dinner, club members are accepting donations, which can be placed in a box located in the main office. Fernandez has offered to match donations up to $500.
Team members are working with biologist Timothy Smith (father senior Nathan Smith), Aquamar Shrimp Farm, and Independence High School in Belize to find a way to reduce the negative environmental impact of shrimp farms in the Central American country.
Shrimp waste from the farms is being pumped out into the surrounding lagoons, and eventually into the ocean, where it is overwhelming the ecosystem in the area.
The result is that lagoons are overpowered by algae growth, and marine animals and surrounding coral reefs are dying. Inventors Club is developing an apparatus that will extract the excess nutrients (caused by shrimp waste) from the water before it is pumped out into the ocean.
Club members are looking to raise $6,500 from the dinner, and they aren't the only ones hoping the Uni community will turn out to support them.
"I think that what the inventors team is doing with the shrimp farms in Belize is an extremely interesting project," said Uni Director Jeff Walkington. "I hope that everyone can support them at the Belizean dinner and make sure that we get them to EurekaFest so that they can present their terrific ideas."
Inventors Club Members
- Liz Allen
- Tej Chajed
- Daniel Cheng
- Amy Ding
- Eric Fritzsche
- Chumin Gao
- Danny Ge
- Hadley Hauser
- Adam Joseph
- Eunjung Kim
- Diana Liu
- Arnav Pamidighantam
- Elizabeth Russell
- Andrew Weatherhead
- Yulun Wu
2009-10 LEMELSON-MIT INVENTEAMS GRANT RECIPIENTS
- Commack High School (Commack, N.Y.)
Standby-power usage reduction device
- Staten Island Technical High School (Staten Island, N.Y.)
Comfort control wheelchair seating
- Washington County Technical High School (Hagerstown, Md.)
Temperature-sensitive, color-changing roof to combat global warming
- Omaha Benson High School Magnet (Omaha, Neb.)
Outdoor, self-sustaining, solar powered hydroponic gardening system
- Science Museum of Minnesota (Saint Paul, Minn.)
Portable watercraft transfer device for people with disabilities
- University Laboratory High School (Urbana, Ill.)
Effluent removal apparatus for sustainable aquaculture
- Columbus High School (Columbus, Ga.)
Portable, inexpensive device to predict high-probability conditions for lightning strikes
- Cypress Bay High School (Weston, Fla.)
Portable, human-powered, UV water filtration device
- Greenbrier West High School (Charmco, W.Va.)
Wetland assessment system for multi-spectral photography, moisture sensing and data retrieval
- Hillside New Technical High School (Durham, N.C.)
Residential green roofing system for sloped surfaces
- Hopewell High School (Hopewell, Va.)
Ergonomic, interactive student desk
- Oak Ridge High School (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)
Micro-scale hydroelectric water purifier
- Cesar Chavez High School (Laveen, Ariz.)
Motorized physical therapy chair to reduce muscular atrophy
- Trevor Browne High School (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Simple, human-powered drill tiller
- Woodrow Wilson Classical High School (Long Beach, Calif.)
Air resistance and energy conversion system to increase energy efficiency of trains
Source: InvenTeams press release