The weeks before Ohio declared quarantine is when our group really started bonding as a team and making consistent progress on developing our system. Unfortunately, just as our team and our project started to come together our objective was taken from us. Weeks before school ended our team had our Mid Grant Technical Review. This review was to mark the midpoint of the project and assess the progress we had made towards creating a functioning system to be presented in DC. As well as other presentations, our mid grant technical review marked the eureka point of our entire project; we prepared presentations and began solidifying the final design of our drain system. These presentations made it clear for the whole team that this was actually going to happen and we started really working together as a team; we were at a point where we were excited to share our work, rather than nervous and we talked about how to better our presentation and display our work in ways that would interest people.
For most of our project in the beginning of the year we spent it separately. Our team started with the intention to divide our efforts to build different components of our project separately and combine them into a single system. To start off we created an actual separation between our group; dividing students and coaches into two teams. Although we all saw each other at school everyday and updates were teamwide we mostly acted as two different teams; and our busy school schedules made it hard for us to put in serious work on our project. We tried to structure our team meetings but we had not yet fully reached out to each other as teammates and I don’t think any of us were aware how much combined brain power it would take to start this project up and actually see it through; as a result we fell behind and it wasn’t until we started working as a whole team that our project really became clear and we started picturing a final product. Our project and our team really connected when we came together to present at our school board and town council meetings and explain the progress we had made at our Mid Grant Technical Review. Our powerpoint presentation was one of the first things that the entire team could work together on and our actual presentations connected us all as a single team. We were no longer working as individual components; we were now making mutual decisions and holding combined work sessions.
Before school ended our team was finally settling in and successfully getting across what it was we actually wanted to do. We began to make continuous progress on many different aspects of the project. On March 13, 2020 we left school thinking we would return three weeks later after an extended spring break. Our team planned to make a little progress from home and wait until we could go back to school and work together again. Since then the covid-19 pandemic has canceled our trip to DC as well as the rest of our school year. Like everyone else the pandemic has affected all of our lives and we are extremely disappointed that we can no longer be together as a team and carry out the rest of the year as normal. Although we are disappointed that we can no longer continue where we left off in the current state of crisis, we have decided to go through with our project, working separately from home. We are currently considering ways to continue our efforts amidst the restraints of the pandemic. Our team is working virtually through team video calls, and contemplating ways to continue working together as much as possible. Although we are disappointed, our goal is still to help clear our local waterways of man made debris and we are going to continue to develop our solution to this issue as much as possible. We are still adjusting to our current situation but our efforts will not be altered and we will continue to work towards our goal of clearer waters.