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Lemelson Early Inventor Prize

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TACO Team's, Put the "C" in TACO Award

A World on Fire 2, How to replant forests after wildfires; like those in Australia and California and now here in Oro Valley?

Engineering, Robotics, and Computer Science
Gabriel Vaughn

Mrs. Alexandria Vaughn

"This is a continuation project from 2019 where I engineered various materials in order to create dart that could be launched from a helicopter and replant after a forest fire. I thought about this because we live in Oro Valley and watched as the forest fire on Mt. Lemmon started creping down the hill towards our home. When the fire was done, there were burned marks all over the mountain. After a forest fire it is hard for plants to grow because of the hydrophobic layer of soil that is present. You have to bury the seeds past this layer about an inch thick so the seeds have to get below that where the water and nutrients are to grow. You can't just fly over the burnt areas and drop seeds. So in this project I 3D molded, in SolidWorks, a seedling dart that could be belt fed to drop our a helicopter and bury itself in the ground. Later prototypes could be made out of plant based material. I understand that some companies like 3M are manufacturing plastics made from plants. After printing the darts I loaded them with dirt and then I threw them off of my roof top and then the parking lot complex at UofA to study dispersal patterns. "

Project presentation

View Project Presentation file