2005 EngineerGirl Contest - Save the Dolphins

 Save the Dolphins!
An EngineerGirl! Website Contest In Conjunction with National Engineers Week 2005 

How would you solve this real-world experience using engineering and your creativity?

Each year, thousands of dolphins die after beaching themselves, often in spite of efforts of volunteers working furiously to move them back out to sea. Imagine that a pod of dolphins has mysteriously come ashore and you are asked to help. Contestants were asked to devise  a solution to this problem using design principles and processes from one or more fields of engineering, removing the dolphins from the beach and safely back into their home in the water.



Erin Parrish, Dan Cunningham, and Bethany Storella
Timberville, VA
Erin, Dan, and Bethany proposed an idea that used a rescue vehicle that was equipped with a tarp that would be used in a "slip-n-slide" concept. Their essay was well-researched and included a scholarly reference. Their vehicle description and drawing was very detailed and attractive.

Riannon Fowler
Riannon presented an idea called the "Gentle Cycle" that moved the dolphin off the beach via a lubricated platform and rollers. Her submission was enhanced by a design-to-cost estimate and a good engineering design analysis. She also listed the pros and cons of her idea.

Joey Lisa
Leesport, PA
Joey's essay was told in the first person and described how with the help of the Coast Guard, he would save the dolphins using inflatable rafts. Hi concept seemed quite realistic and he included step-by-step panel drawings.

Rachel Bradshaw and Eric Alderman
Rachel and Eric presented research that some dolphins get stranded by becoming sick. They presented the novel idea of using a generator to "steal" power from the ocean to charge an underwater scanner that would check the health of passing dolphins. Sick dolphins would be called away by a sonar signal, and then treated so that they did not pass their illness to others. They also had an idea to have an underwater camera on the bottom of ships so that the ships can avoid running into dolphins they might see in their way. Their presentation was very professional and attractive, with good engineering technology and schematics.