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Purdue 2

How Can We reduce pollution in the Wabash River?

Purdue 2 in DFA Purdue


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Catherine Chung

We got your video! Congratulations on all you have accomplished throughout the project. I loved seeing all the footages and pictures of you all going out to the river and interviewing residents and testing out your prototypes. Glad to see that you all received positive feedback from the partners. After submitting the video, there is no requirement from our end for you all to continue the project, but as you all are at a great stage for installing some of the solutions yall have devised, I encourage you all to continue your project efforts.

Once again, congratulations on your great work and we will be in touch about completing the DFA New Studio Application process within two weeks! Please let me know if you all have any questions in the meantime.

3 years ago ·

Catherine Chung

Hamilton's update was emailed to me. Here it is:

Over the last week we have tried to sort through our prototype ideas we presented to the group last week and try to find a feasible solution. Trying to stick to the DFA design process, we have decided that a filtration plate will be the most feasible idea of the ones we have created.

This week, we will try to construct a low fidelity, tangible, prototype of this. The problem is, that this is a highly technical solution compared to the others, however, implementation would be significantly easier than other ideas. We believe that a slightly more improved variation of our prototype (given more time) will be the most effective as a solution to the problem of river pollution.

Our biggest obstacle for this previous week was deciding how we can create an easy prototype of a highly technical idea. We believe that we will be able to put together something in time for presentation.

We will need to get our hands dirty to create a solution prototype that is as tangible as possible.

Hi-Had a more relaxed school week

Low-More tests this week!

Also, I just saw that you requested our list of HCW, please see the list below.
How can we keep chemicals far away from the river?
How can we convince farmers to install a solution that some kids thought of?
How can we test our prototypes?
How can we create something that will be easily implementable?
How can we keep our solution low tech?
How can we prevent rain runoff or flood runoff into the river?
How can we cleanse the contaminated soil near the river?

3 years ago ·

Catherine Chung - Hi team! Sorry for the late feedback. This week has been crazy!

Good to hear that y’all are trying to create a low-fidelity prototype of the filtration plate. Also noting that the project team can continue after the video is due! If you all would like to continue after initial testing and build a medium to high fidelity prototype, go for it. Just noting that my feedback will be more spread out than the application process.

Looking forward to seeing the video. Great work team!

3 years ago

Hamilton Southworth

Hello, sorry for the lack of update last weekend. Being on spring break meant that we did not get much done. However, we're pretty much caught up now.

Over the last week, our team analyzed our initial research, our reframe, and other information to begin prototyping. If you remember from my last update (see below), we had found that most of the current pollution in the Wabash river is chemical runoff from the hundreds of miles of farmland along the river banks. To combat this, our group came up with several potential solutions based on a list of HCW questions we created earlier.
1) Filtration membranes for farm soil near the river, to get rid of harmful chemicals from industrial farming such as Atrazine, and other herbicides commonly used in the Midwest.
2) Water/runoff collection systems for farms. Many farms already have these in place in case of flooding or heavy rain. By collecting all of the water and modifying the storage area to neutralize harmful chemicals, we would keep it away from the river.
3) Farm ratings that show how environmentally friendly a farm is in relation to the river.
For next week, our goal is to delve into each of these more and try to get ideas of how to create actual prototypes. This topic being highly technical, we anticipate this work will take more time and research than other groups might take. We intend to take a trip up the river to speak to farmers about some of our solutions, and hopefully gain a better understanding of how feasible they are.
Our biggest obstacle this week was Purdue's School of Engineering, and their decision to schedule several tests the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after break. We weren't able to meet up until later on.
We will travel up the river to speak to farmers and others with relevant knowledge of farms, and see if any of our solutions seem feasible.
High-finishing this difficult academic week Low-being back at school :(

3 years ago ·

Catherine Chung - Hi team! Cool concepts. Pretty technical as well. Could yall share your HCWs with me? It’d be helpful for me to know how the solutions address the parts of the issue yall are trying to solve.

I’d actually push yall to make something tangible and low fidelity to bring with yall as you all meet with the farmers. As yall are at a stage to still prove your concept, prototype are a great way to get quick feedback from the stakeholders. And if you find that the solutions will not work, it’d be helpful to know that earlier than later (fail early, fail often). I’ve included a resource on that below!

And remember that as DFA projects, we are trying to solve issues in the community by being realistic about the amount of impact you can make in a set timeframe. In this 1 month project, what is the impact you all can make on the users of your solution? Even if the prototype will not be a fully-working prototype, there is value in showing the users that these are the concepts yall are working towards based on the insights you’ve gathered from user research.

Good luck with the tests!!

3 years ago

Hamilton Southworth

Over the last week, our team discussed our research and used new findings to reframe our perspective of the problem. Initially, we had considered factories to be the most significant sources or river pollution. However, after research, we realize that factories and traditional industry contributed to the problem much more significantly in the past than they do today. The most significant contributor to river pollution from industry are farms. For example, chemicals from pesticides can run into rivers if crops are sprayed. We have formed several new HCWs related to farms, and plan to look more into traditional industry to see if there is anything we missed.
For next week, our goal is to begin taking our research to the next step and begin thinking about how we can relate our findings to potential solutions. We will consider how our research can affect prototyping, and proceed from there. We are excited for what this stage will bring, because I think we are already starting to come up with good ideas.
Our biggest obstacle this week was, again, difficulty meeting up. This was an extremely trying academic week, with many group members tied up with exams and projects. We are proud of what we were able to get done regardless of obstacles.
We will relate our research to potential prototyping ideas, and see if we can use that to create potential solutions.
High-being done with tests and beginning spring break Low-tests and difficulty meeting up

3 years ago ·

Catherine Chung - Cool reframe! Hope you can get in contact with those involved in farming industry or anyone in the area.

As you all think about your goals for next week, do think about how to connect the stories and insights you all gained to the HCWs. Keeping the connection strong and consistent will help your team focused on your goals! I attached couple resources below on brainstorming and concept selection.

Have an amazing break everyone!

3 years ago

Hamilton Southworth

Over the last week, our team conducted primary and secondary research. We specifically looked into how industry in Indiana affects pollution levels in the Wabash river. Our research, which included internet research, as well as email interviews, revealed some things we suspected to be true, as well as new information. For example, we had considered runoff from chemically sprayed crop fields to have been a major part of the problem. Additionally, factories along the river have been reducing their impact over the years, and much of the damage factories have imparted on the river is from a long time ago.
For next week, our goal is to take the information we have learned and use it to reframe our perception of the problem. We will wait on some more interviews to be carried out before using all the information to create more HCWs and find new angles to attack the problem from.
Our biggest obstacle this week was the fact that we got off to a late start. Due to every bodies busy schedule, we were not able to meet until just before the weekend. Thankfully, we were able to efficiently work together to accumulate some good information. We will make sure that we get going sooner next week.
We will be deciding what new HCWs we have to consider, and trying to look at the problem from new angles.
High-getting research done efficiently Low-The late start had some people worried about completing our tasks.

3 years ago ·

Catherine Chung - Hello Hamilton + team!

Great to meet you all virtually. Looking forward to supporting you all throughout your process!

Good to hear the primary and secondary research is going well. As you all move on to making HCWs and finding new angles to solve the issues, I recommend visualizing your research (synthesize) to see what insights you get from compiling the different stories, facts, etc. you all have researched. I included resources on that below.

No worries on a late start. The high (getting research done efficiently) means that y’all are on good track. With spring break approaching, I’m not sure how much work y’all can do together. I gave this feedback to Team 1: Get things that could be done virtually out of the way so when you all meet in person, y’all can make the most out of those times. I recommended Team 1 to look into existing solutions with a caution to not let that solution bias or limit your possibilities! It’s up to y’all to decide. I still included the resource below just in case.

Let me know if I can clarify anything. Have a great spring break everyone!

3 years ago

Catherine Chung - Conduct secondary research (market research)

3 years ago

Hamilton Southworth joined the project

3 years ago ·

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