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SLICE Project Examples

Service-Learning Project Examples

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Canal Trash Cleaning Devices

Course: 25.200 – Community-Based Engineering Design Project I
Semester: Spring 2006
Instructor: John Duffy
Partner: Lowell Historical National Park (LHNP)

One student worked with the Lowell Historical National Park (LHNP) to develop trash-cleaning devices for the canal system in Lowell. The model is still under development, however, reports on the design and model have been delivered to the LHNP Facilities Director, Ted Davis. The Lowell National Park asked the college’s help in designing a mechanism for cleaning the surface of the canals in Lowell from the trash that constantly blows in. The project was used to generate ideas and to develop initial predictions of the kinematics of such a device.

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Lowell Canals Trash Remover

Course: 25.300 – Community-Based Engineering Design Project II and 25.400 Community-Based Engineering Design Project III
Semester: Fall 2006 and Fall 2007
Instructor: John Duffy
Partner: Lowell Historical National Park (LHNP)

Ongoing project developed by a student to meet the expressed needs of the LHNP. More complete analysis was undertaken.

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Remote control for opening of canal locks

Course: 16.365 - Electronics I
Semester: Fall 2007
Instructor: Joel Therrien
Partner: Lowell National Historical Park

Students in the Electronics I course designed a circuit to remotely control the canal lock located near the hydro station. This will remove the need for a person to be present to open the gates for the boats. This project was perceived by students as one where they had a ‘job to do’ and one where they could appreciate “the importance of the course material in that it could actually be used, not just studied”. One of the goals of this project is that the cost savings that this project brings might allow for more canal tours, or at least protection against budget cuts

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Design of remote control water lock opener

Course: 16.365 - Electronics I
Semester: Spring 2008
Instructor: Joel Therrien
Partner: Lowell National Historical Park

This project consisted on analyzing last semester’s design. The students critiqued the solutions and identified problems with them; improvements to the designs were then proposed. The students were able to apply transistors as switches during this project, which is one of the topics and objectives of the course. Implementation of the revised solutions are scheduled for next semester, and it is hoped that this will reduce the operating costs for the national park service and potentially allow canal tours to continue.

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Canal Locks Mechanism Analysis

Course: 22.381 - Fluid Mechanics - Handout
Semester: Fall 2006
Instructor: Majid Charmchi
Partner: Lowell National Historical Park (LNHP)

The Lowell National Historical Park (LNHP) was interested in having UML engineering students analyze the canal locks system in order to develop a design for an automated spring.

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NPS Hydro Lock Automation for Canal Gate

Course: 22.423 - Capstone
Semester: Spring 2007
Instructor: Sammy Shina
Partner: Lowell National Historical Park (LNHP)

UMass Lowell students in the Mechanical Engineering Capstone course were given the challenge to automate a manual canal lock for the Lowell Historical national Park (LNHP). The Pawtucket canal lock gate system was previously operated manually for tour boats. Students were very enthused by the project, and took multiple trips to the Pawtucket Canal gate to make field measurement, as well as attend many meeting with Ted Davis, national park facilities director, and others from the national park service.

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Clean the Lowell Locks Project

Course: 22.425 - Design Machine Elements
Instructor: Chris Niezrecki
Partner: Lowell Historical National Park (LNHP)

The Lowell National Historical Park recently asked the students in the Design Machine Elements class to help in designing a mechanism for cleaning the surface of the canals in Lowell from the trash that constantly blows in. The design would take into account the analysis of yielding failure and fatigue failure.

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Canal Lock Automation Project

Course: 22.425 - Design Machine Elements
Instructor: Chris Niezrecki
Partner: Lowell Historical National Park (LNHP)

The purpose of this project was to design a mechanism to perform the task of opening and closing automatically an upstream water gate to allow boats to travel through at two different water levels. The students focused on an analysis of the forces acting upon the gate in addition to a stress and fatigue analysis.

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Capstone project for the Masters Certificate in Sustainable Infrastructure for Developing Nations

Course: 18.584 - Sustainable Infrastructure Practicum
Semester: Spring 07
Instructor: Bill Moeller
Partner: Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI)

The Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI) hosted one graduate student in Honduras, with other financial support, to explore methods of composting coffee waste to make organic fertilizer. The goal was to create a way for coffee farmers to switch over to organically grown coffee thus earning more for their crop.

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Outreach Activities from the Center for Green Chemistry

Course: 31.572 - Green Chemistry Colloquium
Instructor: John Warner
Partner: Various

The Center for Green Chemistry students, faculty and staff from the Green Chemistry Colloquium regularly visited K-12 groups to teach them about green chemistry, perform experiments and just to talk to young students. These activities are part of John Warner’s vision to inspire kids to be interested in chemistry.

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