Lusher Charter School Students to Test Their New Invention Designed to Combat Coastal Erosion

In conjunction with Common Ground Relief and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the students will be testing the latest model of the device on Friday, April 19, 10 a.m. on Bayou Bienvenue. The students will go out on two boats to test the device. The boat launch is located at 2001 Paris Rd., New Orleans, LA 70129.

If you would like to join the students for the device testing, please contact Heather Harper at hharper@h2nola.net or (504) 289-0499.
When the Lusher Charter School all-female-student design team of Autumn Routt, Chloe Cazayoux and Brynn Beatty won the 2018 Gulf Coast Chevron Design Challenge held at UNO last May, they had no idea how far their great idea would take them.
Led by their engineering teacher Matthew Owen, the team designed and developed the first-place winning “Vegetation Station” using the Autodesk Inventor 3D design program. The idea focused on developing a plan and method to combat coastal erosion by autonomously planting cordgrass safely in marshland. The system would have to remove a plant intact from a bucket, dig a hole, drop in a fertilizer pellet, insert a plant in the hole and then cover it.
“We were excited to win the challenge, but we had no idea how real our ideas would become,” said incoming senior Routt. “When we found out we could pick any project we wanted for our senior engineering class, Chloé and I knew exactly what to do. It’s amazing how much our design has changed as it’s become a reality over the past year.”
When the two entered their Senior year at Lusher, both girls were participants in Lushers’ Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering program which requires a Senior group project where students must engineer and invent a useful product. The girls decided to use the opportunity to expand the Chevron Design Challenge idea with the help of a group of classmates and bring the device to fruition.
“Having that extra input from classmates and working in a group really elevated the design,” said Cazayoux. “We were able to learn about working as a team and every single person contributed a valuable idea. We also were able to apply for a patent for the device together, which was really cool. We are patent pending!”
Initially, the design group was small, but more students took notice and the group grew to 11 members: Autumn Routt, Chloé Cazayoux, Adam Poché, Gabriel Martinez, Finn Phayer, Camden Dyer, Annabel Powers, Dorothy-Rui Corrigan, Stavo Kinney, Bennett Dupuy, and Justin Bresler.
With the help of a $1,300 donation from Chevron and use of 3D printing technology, the group invented and created a device: “Dibble Scissors,” inspired by dibbles, which are shovel-like tools used to plant marsh grass by hand.
“Marsh grass must be planted by hand and this device could extend the time we are able to plant by allowing planters to avoid direct contact with colder winter
waters,” said Thomas Pepper of Common Ground Relief, who in conjunction with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will be testing the latest model of the device on April 19 at Bayou Bienvenue. The students will go out on two boats to test the device.

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