Tag Archives: Natural Resource Management

Efficiency in our City

Today, Malique, Dani, Antoine, Kamaya, and I were in charge of making houses. While we were making houses, we kept color reflectivity in mind. Albedo is the reflectivity of an object. Since we knew that the albedo of the color white is low, we planned to make that the color, of the roof. Unfortunately, we were not able to make the roof white today because of time. A pro of low albedo colors on roofs is that it can reflect the sun’s harmful rays off of the building which cools up the building and they do not have to use too much energy for air conditioners and/or fans which helps contribute to saving energy. Other than not being able to finish, today was a very fun day.

Soil Engineering

Hey blog! Today we talked about soil engineering with Chris. Soil engineering is one of the many jobs that civil engineers do everyday. To build on soil, there must be certain characteristics with the soil. The moisture and stability of the soil is important to know before building a bridge or any form of road. We tested out different types of soil and a combination to see the different states of soil. On Monday, we will see the progress of the different soils separating.


Natural Cycles and Water Waste Disposal and Filtration

I learned about the natural cycles that occur in the world such as the carbon cycle, water cycle, and the rock cycle. The carbon cycle is the transfer of carbon throughout the environment. Carbon travels through trees, oceans, soil and the sky. The water cycle is when water evaporates and condenses, the precipitation occurs releasing the water stored in the clouds. Finally, the water runs off and the process begins again. In the rock cycle, rocks change from Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary rocks.

Towards the end of the day, we learned pH and water waste removal and filtration. PH is the measurement of hydrogen ions content in a substance/measure of acidity. Water Waste Disposal is the process in which dirty unclean water, not grey water, is filtered back into tap water that can be reused in homes. resin is used to attract dirt together which allows it to be removed. The dirty water is mixed and filtered. Finally, chlorine is added to purify the water. It is then distributed to every day homes for use.  I also learned that continuous filtering of dirty water gradually cleans out dirty particles within the water.

David; Group B

Cycles and Water Filtration

Today in Smart Cities, we learned about Earth’s natural cycles and Water Filtration. Some cycles we learned about were the rock cycle, the water cycle, and the carbon cycle. Each individual cycle is important to engineers for planning, designing, and building a city. Some facts about water are that 780 million people around the Earth don’t have access to fresh water, 3.4 million people a year die from water-related diseases, there are 366 Quintilian gallons of water on Earth, and a burger takes 2,700 gallons of water to produce. Also, the average American flush uses more gallons of water than people in third-world countries use per person. We then did an experiment with pH after discussing what it was. In the end, we filtered water with dirt in it to make it cleaner. Our water was barely cleaned, while some groups had theirs looking almost like water.

Renewable Energy

Today in Science of Smart Cities, we learned about power generation. First we had a brief discussion of nonrenewable and renewable energies. Then we learned about the various sources of energy (hyrdo-electric, solar, nuclear, etc.). Then, we talked about the location of the power plants. After that we learned how nuclear, solar, and wind energies function properly. After that we had a huge assignment; to create a hydro-electric generator. My group contained Hafsah, David, and Erlyn. The three parts were wrap coil around the 8 holes in one part. Then, glue 7 magnets into 7 holes. Finally, glue pieces to a cylinder-like object to create a turbine. We are presenting tomorrow!



Yesterday we learned about Geo-engineering which is a branch of civil engineering concerned with developing technologies to reduce the effects of climate change. We learned about cloud seeding which is when people use this boat to make water vapor which will make the clouds denser so that the clouds could reflect harmful rays to reduce the effect of global warming and climate change. But my favorite thing that we learned was is about the Algae which produces 80 percent of the worlds oxygen (O2). In the future we will have algae lamps that does not run on electricity, it glows in the dark, and it helps people breathe better.

-Yusuf Figueroa Group B

Power Generation

Today we learned about different ways power plants create electricity. Also, how Wind or Water turns a mill which gives power to magnets and makes them spin which makes a Turbine spin which sends electricity to a place which distributes the electricity to different places. To add on, today we also did an activity where we built a HYDROELECTRIC model of a real HYDROELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR. We also learned that New York and other states use the NIAGARA FALLS as a HYDROELECTRIC power source.


How can a smart city control storm water runoffs?

A major runoff and storm water related problem that NYC has to deal with is Combined Sewer Overflow. I asked students if they were to become scientists and engineers one day and Mayor Bloomberg wanted them to solve this problem. Nishat suggested we make our pavements porous and to plant more greenery to control storm water runoffs. Great idea Nishat and that is what NYC’s Green Infrastructure Program aims to do. Instead of spending billions of dollars more to build more wastewater treatment plants, the city can control runoffs at its source and construct bioswales, tree pits and constructed wetlands throughout the city to retain and clean storm water. Students understand that smart cities need to have integrated systems that can among other things, detect the moisture condition of soil around the city. This real time information can help authorities predict the flooding and runoff potential of different areas around the city to better prepare for a storm.

Rajshree (left) and Sunjida (right) reads the ingredients to try to find the correlation between the ingredients and the pH of the beverage.

Too much water causes of storm water and urban runoffs, but too little water is also a major problem. In the water and life lesson, students learned that less than 1% of the world’s water is potable because as a universal solvent, water is easy to contaminate. To understand how engineers and scientists test for water quality, students used Litmus paper to test for the pH of various beverages. We gave students samples of Coca Cola Coke, Sprite, Gatorade, Arizona, Milk, Orange Juice, Tap Water and Coffee. Students and instructors made predictions of the pH by inspecting the ingredients of the beverages and after the experiment were relatively shocked by the actual pH. Orange juice, one of the major causes of acid erosion in teeth, has a pH of 3 and coke also has a pH of 3.

Students dipped their Litmus paper into the beverages and matched the color of the strips to the chart, this determines the pH. Coke’s litmus paper turned red therefore it has a pH of around 3.

Farms Arent Actually As We Imagined…

Today we learned that when we think about farms, it’s not actually how it looks like in real life as we imagine it in our minds. There is more factories than there is green space. The people on the farm don’t have to work as hard as we think anymore. There are the factories there where they process them with the help of the machines. Because of our growing world population, demand for food is now more then ever. The average American will eat 30 chickens per year. That is why scientists have developed new chemically enhanced feed to feed the animals helping them grow faster. This new feed basically contains chemicals full of growth hormones, so animals grow 9 times faster then if raised in the wild. For example, wild chicken take 6 months to grow, but with the scientifically developed food in these urban farms they will only take l.5 months to grow. Some people might think this is disgusting, but in order to feed the world, that is the way it’s going to be.