Etcetera - 06/10/10

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Troubleshooting the BP oil leak debacle has been taken on locally by Walla Walla High School Technology Teacher Dennis DeBroeck and senior Bryson Mooso. The pair recently submitted their idea for stopping the massive gusher polluting the Gulf of Mexico to British Petroleum.

Dennis discovered a website through the Deepwater Horizon Response Command to use as a vehicle for delivering the idea. From the website, BP has a process to receive and review submitted suggestions, he said. Suggestions includ e how to stop the flow of oil or contain the spill emanating from Mississippi Canyon 252 well. Proposals are reviewed for their technical feasibility and proof of application.

"It was amazing how receptive they were to ideas on containing this spill," Dennis said in the May 28 Walla Walla Public Schools in Review online publication.

"Never have I found this kind of cooperation. There are now more than 7,800 ideas that have been proposed and they promise to look at each one."

The project started with a crude drawing of Dennis' idea that was submitted to BP. He asked if any student would be interested in modeling the idea in 3D and Bryson volunteered.

"I thought this would be a great opportunity for a student to participate," Dennis said. "Mooso has done a remarkable job and has been able to apply his 3D skills.

Hands-on projects like this are critical to developing problem-solving skills and peaking interest, Dennis said.

"This is the 'real world' connection that students need to experience the challenges and application of skills. Bryson has developed the idea into a 3D artist of professional quality. We are not sure if our idea will be accepted, but the attempt and experience is what education should be about."

The drawing is of an end tap device. Once secured, it can be dropped into place and a slide clamp can be dropped in to start the diversion. All work would be done by submarine and crane from the surface. The apparatus will have ballasts that can be adjusted to angle it over the pipe on the floor. Once in place, the submarine can push the end tap down further on the pipe. Once on the pipe, hydraulics clamp it in place (release clamp).

Then the crane can continue to lower the other end and it will swivel down into place. Once it swivels down the clamp shown in the upper right will slide over the two flanges and lock it in place.

A hose then can carry from the end with the curve on it to the surface. Once it is under control and pressurized, a slurry can be pumped back against it.

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland can at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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