Oakwood Adventist Academy (OAA) participated in the Southern Challenge, March 25, 2018, an annual tournament held at Southern Adventist University that features LEGO robotics and research projects presented by middle and high school students. OAA received first place for their core values presentation, and third place for their research project. The Southern Challenge has three levels of competition — robot missions, scientific research, and a core values presentation. The theme was “Hydrodynamics,” which required teams to program robots to solve water-related problems associated with the process of locating, transporting, and using and disposing water.
Teams also had to conduct research to identify their own problem, and recommend a viable solution. Additionally, they were required to share their research with at least two professionals, and include the latter’s responses in their final research report.
The OAA team researched the problem of high soil salinity from irrigation and its detrimental effects on produce. They identified several reasons why salt collects in irrigation water, and how the evaporation of water from the surface of the Earth causes salt to collect around the roots of plants and produce. After much research and collaboration with professors from Oakwood University, Alabama A&M University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the team shared their solution, which included setting an optimal irrigation schedule for typical weather conditions, and using sensors to detect excess rain or arid conditions to cancel or initiate additional water cycles as needed.
South Central | June 2018