I had a great time working with team Low-Cost Groundwater Detection at San Francisco’s Science Hack Day, Oct. 4-5 at Github HQ. As the visual designer, I made the presentation and technical illustrations. The creators were Mika McKinnon, Alice Pevyhouse, and Jeremy Wong (with extra electronics help from some expert attendees). The team won best hardware award, and we all got medals.
The team’s intent was to develop a low-cost, prototype that could replicate an expensive geophysical system for groundwater detection. This was accomplished by wiring an Arduino into a volt meter to provide continuous data logging of ground voltage. This voltage was induced by 2 electrodes stuck in the ground and wired to a 9-volt battery. Potential applications include citizen-science groundwater measurement & monitoring or reducing the risk of drilling wells.
The presentation I created for our team:
Big thanks to the organizers, volunteers, sponsors and teams. I’d definitely do it again next year. I’m still amazed it was a free event.
Science Hack Day is a 48-hour-all-night event where anyone excited about making weird, silly or serious things with science comes together in the same physical space to see what they can prototype within 24 consecutive hours. Designers, developers, scientists and anyone who is excited about making things with science are welcome to attend — no experience in science or hacking is necessary, just an insatiable curiosity.
The mission of Science Hack Day is to get excited and make things with science! People organically form multidisciplinary teams over the course of a weekend: particle physicists team up with designers, marketers join forces with open source rocket scientists, writers collaborate with molecular biologists, and developers partner with school kids. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results.
See Science Hack Day’s site for more info. Here’s a good summary of SF’s by organizer Ariel Waldman.