Challenge Team Interim Report
Team Number: 062
School Name: Ramah High School
Area of Science: Geology - Soil Drainage Analysis
Project Title: The Dam Problem
In order to obtain more accurate data we decided that it would best if we modified our project. Instead of digging a hole that is 1square foot x 1 square foot x 1sqaure foot and measuring the time that it took for the hole to fill, we decide that we would measure the ability of water from the reservoir to pass through the soil. We have collected soil samples from the area of the reservoir. In a container that is 6 in. x 6 in. x 6 in, we hard-packed the soil samples to simulate the dense, earthen dam that creates the reservoir here in Ramah. We then place a container of water from the reservoir over the soil and are currently determining how long it takes for a gallon of water to percolate through the tightly packed soil.
We are also highly concerned with the amount of soil that will move with the water from the reservoir in the percolation process. Since the dam has broken two times in the past, there is a great concern in the community that it could possibly happen again in the future. One of the ideal outcomes of the project is to discover whether or not water passing through the dam is creating an extreme weakness in the dam's structure. That information would be helpful to the several individuals who are responsible for the maintenance of the dam and thereby help to improve the community.
Once we have determined that data, we will then create an equation that will tell us how much reservoir water percolates through the model and the rate at which it flows through the soil. We will measure the volume of the earthen dam, and using the set of data we obtained from the model (which is currently being determined) we will apply the equation to the total surface of the dam.
The supercomputer will aid us in applying the data obtained from the model to the volume of the whole dam. We are presently working on a program that will be able to solve the problem by plugging in the equation, and then repeating it numerous times in order to achieve the desired result. We will also use the supercomputer to create and compile the program. Most importantly we will use it to run the program.
As we are now waiting for the set of data we will need to complete the equation, we will outline our presentation and prepare visual aids using Power Point. Since no one in the team knows that much about Power Point, we will have to spend some more time getting to know that program and deciding how best to use it in our presentation. We are also trying to build up our programming skills by taking time to study and beef up on some of the programming information. This will help us in the programming process. Once again, we are rookies at programming, so we'll be learning as we go, step by step.