Hard work and determination paid off for two Riverhead High School seniors, Eric Behr and Yash Patel, who finished in the top five at the second annual Long Island High School Engineering Design Challenge, held recently at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.
To earn the spot, the pair, under the direction of teacher Luke Ferland, built and programmed an autonomous boat that could sense nitrogen levels, mark areas of high pollution, collect data, collect solid pollution on the surface of the water and attempt self-rescue. The students designed the boat using AutoCAD, cut parts using a laser cutter, outfitted it with myriad sensors, customed 3D-printed parts, and used an Arduino microcontroller and Raspberry Pi computer to control the boat.
“I am so very proud of Eric and Yash,” said Ferland. “Their project appeared unrivaled and their presentation skills were outstanding.”
This is not the first time the duo has placed in a competition; last year, they took first place in the contest’s robotics division.