Photo: Professor Allen with the observatory telescope.
Each fall our senior students select projects to work on. The list for this year is close to finalized now. Here’s what’s happening:
Ethanol from Sweet Sorghum
This project, funded from the Iowa Energy Center, has a goal of developing a farm-scale system to produce ethanol to operate farm equipment. You can read more about this project here. There are two project teams of four students each, one working on distillation and the other on fermentation.
Observatory Roof Positioner
Two students are working on a project to motorize the rotation of Dordt’s observatory dome so that it automatically tracks the position of the telescope. (When a person moves the telescope the dome will automatically rotate as needed). Update: The observatory has a web page.
TMF Moldova Aquaponics System
This project, involving five students, seeks to provide a way to grow fish in a farming environment away from rivers and lakes. It is being done in cooperation with Professor Abe Scheaffer of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. (TMF stands for “Teach a Man to Fish”. )
Microphone Positioning System
Two students plan to design a system to allow microphones to be suspended in almost any position in a large auditorium without sending people out on catwalks or lifts to hang them. Instead a few motors and thin cables will be used to raise, lower, and move microphones by remote control as needed for different events.