North Surry seniors, like many of their counterparts, have presented multi-media presentations to meet graduation requirements as spring brings graduation closer. Indicative of the variety found in these projects were two recently presented by Greyhounds Austin Barker and Keightley Dalton.
Barker, who is looking at a future in solar engineering, used solar-powered accessories to extend the use of his family’s golf cart on vacations. Dalton’s project chose to extend the opportunity for clean water to families along the Amazon.
Barker said he was mentored in his project by his grandfather, Wayne, who helped him rebuild the family’s golf cart. According to his presentation, the project added a solar panel, radio and LED lights to extend the operational life of six batteries which power the cart. Cost for the project was $1,250.
He told the panel of judges he had push mowed yards at a family campground and collected scrap metal to earn money for the project which took him 75 hours. Judges followed up a demonstration of the cart with questions about cost for powering the vehicle with only a solar panel. Barker concluded by explaining he had learned much by taking the golf cart apart. He told the group he didn’t know screws in the vehicle were in assorted sizes. He said if he had known, he would have taken pictures of where each went into the frame.
Another project with a more global focus was presented to the judges by student Keightley Dalton.
Dalton said she had been inspired by the work of missionary Paul Gale to people living along the Amazon River in need of clean drinking water. She told the judges the river is full of impurities, animal waste and dirt and are responsible for a high mortality rate among the young.
“I wanted to learn how to help provide clean water for these people,” said Dalton. “The Brazilian government doesn’t want help from outside.” Dalton told the group she organized a Walk for Water at North Surry’s track that raised $1,100 to provide a solar-powered water filtration system which can be used by natives to provide drinking water. Dalton said the cost of shipping the filtration units by missionary to the region would cost $2,100. She said the unit could treat 30 gallons of water in 30 minutes.
She showed the judges examples of a brochure she had designed for the walk. Dalton explained she also had designed and sent a letter to groups including the Baptist Men’s Association to speak on behalf of her project and to seek donations. The solar-powered filtration system operates using two filter cartridges and ultraviolet lights to clean the water and kill bacteria and is about the size of a piece of rolling carry-on luggage.
Dalton told the judges the charge for participating in the Walk for Water was $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event.
“I have learned Americans have many choices for water that others do not,” said Dalton. “I was initially told this was not a regular senior project, but it was important to me. I am so thankful for the support and donations of local churches.”
She told the judges that filtering cartridges with the filtration system are replaceable, and there are churches raising funds to provide replacement cartridges and UV bulbs. She added that she is hoping to organize another benefit walk or supper to raise enough money to purchase another unit to send to Brazil. Dalton said families benefiting from water filtration projects are only allowed one gallon of water a day.
“At first this project was difficult for me because I didn’t know how exactly I was going to raise the money,” recalled Dalton. She told the group how she and her mother had to fix one filtration unit they tested when water began spewing out of the top of one canister. She said it took them 55 minutes on the telephone to the Nevada firm which makes the machine. She said the unit was easy to operate and could be used for national disasters. Dalton’s home church is Salem Baptist Church in Dobson.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.