Holocene 911*

Holocene 911

Saeed Arida

It is February 2025. President Arida has just taken office. He is faced with crisis. Both the National Security Council and the UN Security Council have declared the worsening climate situation a code red security threat. He’s scheduled to speak to the UN Security Council in one month and must have four high-impact solutions to the crisis in his speech. You are part of a 12 person policy action team chosen to develop an understanding of the situation and propose the four interventions.

Faced with multiple simultaneous crises, including droughts, failed harvests, massive super-storms, breakup of polar ice, and rising sea levels, POTUS has indicated that all options are on the table. Preventative measures, while they may be necessary, are no longer sufficient. An innovative team, highly trained in creative problem-solving, will be required to generate these solutions. To staff the team, the president has reached out to 12 innovators who were trained in his design and problem-solving approach a decade ago. They have two weeks to analyze the problems, design solutions and validate them through modeling and testing, prior to their presentation to the National Security Council and the President.

*The Holocene is the most recent geological period, which began about 11,500 years ago, characterized by a generally mild global climate. It is during this period that most of the features of our modern human culture emerged. The current human civilization is completely dependent on this climate pattern, and would face severe disruption if it were to change substantially.


Sam Favazza

The last couple of days were dedicated to writing all of the code that would simulate the water filter. The Simulation was written in python, a general-purpose, high-level programming language. First we started writing pseudo code to begin to understand all of the key features of the simulation. We then started writing the pseudo code in python and develop the calculations needed for the program. There were different pieces of the program to simulate different things including, the most important being “graphene layer” which would do the actual digital filtering. I had not had much experience with python before the studio so it was interesting to learn it from scratch.

Minor Problems

Jess Ferreira

Today we ran into a few minor problems. Our first minor problem occurred in the morning. Last week we had cut out a circle to use as a valve but it did not cut all the way through because the plastic was too thick. There was a long line for the laser cutter because the other studio needed to use it as well; this delayed making the product.

Another problems we ran into was the box. The box was filled with water and the water was pushing the sides of the container; this was making the container crack a little bit. We needed to fill another type of container with water. This new container needed to be circular this would prevent the water from pushing hard against the sides. I ended up going to the store and buying a big trash can.

Since we changed the shape of the container filled with water, the base of our product did not fit (diameter wise). We drew a circle around the P.V.C. pipe and used a jigsaw to cut on the line. This was not perfectly circular but circular enough to work, balance in the water and fit in the trash can.


Riley Nelson

These are the notes I took before I started making the prototype to my filter.

Experimenting With Different Shape Funnels

Jess Ferreira

This morning started with a lot of brainstorming. We drew a lot of diagrams and had to think about the how heavy the hot and cold water is. The warm water on top is light and the cold water on the bottom is heavy so in science terms it would be hard to push the heavy cold water down to circulate and mix together. Another thing that came up is “do we have to have a pump?” The goal of our project is to get rid of the hot spot, we might not have to pump, we could bring cold water and transport it to the hot spots but pressure (this would replace the pumping).

Just before lunch, we were talking with Giancarlo and we decided that we would go find different types of bottles that would be different shapes at the top. This would affect how the water came up when bobbing up and down in the ocean. We started by testing a PBC pipe and a funnel. We found 3 different types of bottles: Dole juice bottle (1); 2 liter soda bottle(2); and a Polar Orange Dry bottle (3). We also had a Polar sparking water bottle from yesterdays prototype (4). When we cut the ends up and tested these different bottles in water we came to the conclusion Polar bottle  (3) and the juice bottle  (1) were the best. The Polar bottle  (3) worked the best because it was thin and narrow, the juice bottle worked the best because there is a gradual incline to the top there is also a good portion of the top that is really narrow. In addition we added a piece of plastic on the top of the water bottle (4), this piece of plastic would guide the water to go to one side or another. By the end of the day we decided to focus on the water bottle (4) and the juice bottle (1)

Max found this video when researching, it is mostly about how Bill Gates wants to helps with the hurricanes. Some ideas in the video were to drag an iceberg in the hurricane's path to cool the water. Gates and scientists want to pump warm water down and cold water up. We do not know if this is realistic yet but it is being tested. They believe that physics is accurate but don’t know if when put to scale the pump/barge will function right.

Final Pump!

Klara Ingersoll

Our prototype is completed. The pump is working really well and the spray is consistent and equal on all sides thanks to our improved divertor. We are now finalizing our powerpoint and getting ready to present. I put together a short video of our pump working with a fully apropriate background song. Good job everyone.

Model #2

Riley Nelson

Today I changed the top section of my design.  I realized that if I needed to pressurize the system, the sytem would have to be able to be closed on all sides.  This forced me to have two buckets on top of each other.  This actually is an improvement because no the top bucket can hold more water while waiting to be filtered.  Once the cermaic filter comes, I can see if the system is water-tight so far.  I also attached the spigot to the bottom bucket.  I used a sealant in an attempt to make that part water-tight.  When it dries I will see if this actually works, or if I have to use another washer.

Learning Vensim

Klara Ingersoll

This morning we learned the basics of Vensim, a program for visualising non-linear systems. We built test models, getting ready to eventually model our own projects and their causes and effects. These models show a bathtub's volume based on the faucet and drain rates.


Kate Reed

After a debate, our whole team is in agreement that bringing cold water up is more worthwhile than bringing hot water down, rather than the half and half group split up there was before. We are now working as a team to improve the pump concept and the prototypes.

Currently two of our team members are off on a quest to retrieve soda bottles with different funnel slopes and different size openings. Before experimenting on which bottle will work best, we get to drink the soda!

Reactions to the cactus

Emily Cudhea-Pierce

I had some people try the cactus (raw) to see what their reactions. Most of the people who tried the cactus enjoyed the raw taste. Some did not enjoy it at all. The cactus smells like most green vegetables, and tastes sort of like pea pods, though a bit more bitter and with a very different texture. It is kind of very slimy. My opinion of the cactus is pretty neutral. I like it alright, but it probably wouldn't qualify as my favorite food.