Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Sarah Harding


This report documents the design and fabrication processes involved for the creation of an interactive science exhibit for the Grover Beach Exploration Station. This is a student-led senior project advised by Sarah Harding, professor of mechanical engineering, as a part of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo’s mechanical engineering program. The final product is a fully functioning, durable system that is capable of pumping and recycling water throughout use when users are in its vicinity.

The exhibit is to be considered in 4 main subsystems: basin, plumbing, frame, and sleep mode system. A fiberglass basin that holds all the water in the exhibit sits recessed inside a welded steel frame. Water is pumped through the bottom of the basin from within an enclosed storage area inside the frame, and is recycled back into the water reservoir by placement of two weir valves. A submersible pump powers the exhibit, and is controlled by passive infrared sensors that activate when human presence is sensed within 15ft. While the manufacturing process did reach completion, testing and verification did not. However, proposed testing plans are still included in the appendices of the report for informational purposes.

Divided into distinct sections, this report will enlighten the reader on each part of the design process. First, background research and preliminary design explains the methodology of developing the vision of the final design. Next, different design analysis techniques are given for each respective subsystem of the proposed exhibit. An in-depth description for manufacturing and testing of the completed exhibit is given for each subsystem. Finally, recommendations are given for future improvements to the exhibit, and what kinds of different decisions would be made in the design process if given a second iteration.