Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April GreenDrinks: Can Smart Technology Save Us from Ourselves?

Can we design and create sustainable systems using green technologies successfully?

A new program at UCSC is exploring the possibilities: Impact Designs - Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) is a 9-month upper division service-learning program geared for entrepreneurial students who are working on experimental sustainable designs at the edge of innovation. These projects focus on a range of sustainable technologies and practices in the built environment, such as energy, water, food, transportation, and waste.


Come to the April GreenDrinks on Monday April 6th at 5:30pm - 7pm at Vino Prima on the Wharf and learn about some of the current IDEASS projects:
  1.  Aquaponics in the rooftop greenhouse at Thiammin Labs: Aquaponics uses the methods of hydroponics and aquaculture to grow plants and fish simultaneously. The IDEASS team is building a demonstration system for the rooftop greenhouse at Thiammin Labs to education students and the general public about the many advantages of aquaponics for sustainable food systems and urban gardening.


  2. Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition: Industry Standards for Off-Grid Solar Lanterns: IDEASS students are working with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) to evaluate sustainable off-grid solar lighting options for impoverished African communities in Kenya and Malawi. Their strategy includes life cycle analysis for selected products; developing a reference set of Design for the Environment criteria for manufacturers; and creating and promoting an open-source database providing data and instruction manuals for producing, repairing, and safely disposing of solar lanterns or its parts.

  3. TowerDome: Embracing the legacy of Buckminster Fuller, this team is experimenting with icosahedral geometry to challenge green-building designs that persist in their reliance on orthogonal right angles. A scale model of a TowerDome is under construction and the team is exploring how this structure might be adapted to support advanced wind turbine designs.


  4. Digital Storytelling for Sustainable Communities: Undergraduate Film & Digital Media majors at UCSC are collaborating with professional videographers to produce four 5-7 minute “digital narratives’ following the development of several sustainable design initiatives in our community. As they work to produce these stories each undergrad is mentoring a group of teenage youth and introducing them to the various phases of film production. Their goal is to introduce these youth to the exciting world of green-technology and inspire them with the confidence to pursue “green-tech careers”. The final productions will be presented for public screening in the theater at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center in September, 2015.
Green Drinks is an informal networking event where environmentally-minded people meet over drinks. If you have questions or comments, please contact greendrinks [at] ecoact [dot] org. Visit the Facebook page for updates. Green Drinks are also being held around the world. Find out where else here

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