New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Algae Energy Project (AEP)

Team: 38

School: Edgewood Mid

Area of Science: Energy, Microbiology


Interim: Problem Definition
Cars have been putting out so much pollution that it is killing the environment. Why not find a better way to power vehicles? If we have so many fossil fuels you’d think we could use something that doesn’t pollute the environment. So, out of all the things you could use what would you use? We chose algae. Algae has the potential to be the planet’s energy source, as long as we don’t make them go extinct but algae is very abundant on the planet.

The goal of Algae Energy Project is to find the best algae for fuel. We are researching five types of algae. Those five types of algae are diatoms, euglenoids, green, blue-green, and dinoflagellates. We are researching their habitats, their population, their living conditions, how fast they are, how durable they are, etc. etc. Once we find out this information we will program Starlogo TNG to have the five types of algae and all of their information. Then we will program another TNG program to see what we could do with the waste.

Problem Solution
In TNG we can program each algae to die in a certain condition. For example, if the blue-green algae were to have a sudden population increase the computer will know and make more blue-green algae. Things such as this will often occur in the programing. The artificial algae will be programmed to know the information we find out while researching. Eventually the algae will die down to just one type of algae. Then we will know which algae would be the best to run cars. So, then we will then start working on what we will do with the waste.

Progress to Date
Currently, we are doing research on the algae and are starting the research paper. We have found out that green algae is more of a plant than a decomposer. Also diatoms have regular geometric shapes. We have organized our research paper so that each paragraph has information on one type of algae. We are progressing at a steady rate. We started a rough draft of the TNG program and in that draft, the diatoms have been the ones to survive every time we have runned it. Of course, that is not an accurate result. So, eventually when we make our TNG program accurate we will know which one is best.


Expected Results
After all the programming, we expect that the blue-green algae will be the ones people use for energy. Blue-green is the most abundant and most efficient according to research. Blue-green is the most common algae there is. It is found in places all over the world. Green algae is the second most common. Even though, we believe that the blue-green algae will be the one people will use. The waste we believe will be used for gardening and soil. The waste will technically not be waste, it will be a garden material. So, after we find out what we will do with the waste there is the problem of people using so much that we make algae go extinct. To fix that we will have to make cars that don’t use as much energy, but still go far. So, basically we expect that blue-green algae will be the algae to use, also that we will use the waste for gardening, and lastly to persuade car dealers to make better cars.


Team Members:

  Sarah Averhoff
  Riley Tarman
  dillon phillabaum

Sponsoring Teacher: Janice Portillo

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