Students created an Arduino powered egg incubator

When the team of students from Hirukide Ikastetxea school created Incubegg as a school project, they could not imagine how successful would it be. It won various awards, including the award for the most innovative project in the DBSariak organized by Don Bosco, and raised more than enough money to cover expenses. 


Incubegg is an entirely automatic chicken egg incubator built for educational purposes. The hatching process is quite simple, but very interesting to witness for students. Firstly, a dozen of fertile chicken eggs is placed on a tray inside the incubator. There is also a small water container to guarantee an optimal level of humidity, around 60% in this case. Then the the incubator must be set it in motion, which immediately triggers the 21-day countdown timer. Once the incubator is functioning properly, thanks to the heat resistance device and a recycled computer vent, the heat is spread equally inside the incubator. A humidity and temperature sensor constantly send information to the Arduino board, which either triggers off or blocks the resistor, in order to keep the temperature around 37 C (98.6 F) degrees. An LCD display informs users about temperature, humidity and the remaining time until the hatching of the chicks. Also, if the water container runs out of water, it sets off an alarm to remind users to fill the container. The tray that holds the eggs changes position every hour, since it’s been proved that rotation enhances the success of the incubation. When only 3 days are left until the hatching, the LCD display reminds students to place the eggs from the tray onto a metallic net, so that the chicks are able to hatch from the eggs easily. 


arduino_incubator


arduino_incubegg


arduino_egg_incubator




The incubator itself was made of cut out OSB planks assembled with glue and screws. A quite big plexiglass window was added to the incubator door making the observation of the eggs easy. The incubator has an upper independent cavity, where most of the electronic devices can be found insulated. The controller is an Arduino Uno with shield. It connects the following devices via Grove
system:

● A servomotor that tilts the egg tray

● A relay connected to a 60W silicon coated resistor

● An LCD display

● A temperature and humidity sensor

● A water sensor

● A buzzer

● A RTC watch

● A botton

● Two LEDs to illuminate the interior of the incubator

Apart from these things, there is a recycled computer power supply unit and a protection switch. 



arduino_incubegg_tray

arduino_egg_incubator_creator






It took the team: Iker Zubillaga, Martin Rekondo, Yeimi Mantilla, Haritz Ruiz, Julen Sousa, and their teacher, Jabi Luengon - a whole school year to carry this project out (3 classes per week and some extra after school time). Students on the team were 15-year-olds, all in the 4th year of secondary school.  For many years now, Hirukide Ikastetxea school has been using methodologies that see the student as an active learner, rather than a passive receiver, called PBL (Project Based Learning).  While building the egg incubator, students got to use and improve a wide range of skills, such as, designing, recording videos, giving explanations, calculating a budget, divulging and obviously sending rewards that reflect the money contributed.

The most important thing about this project, from an educational perspective, was the

learning process.The lack of information obliged everyone to learn new things, not to

mention that the whole process was nothing but incessant decision making, which

significantly encouraged participation and teamwork. Also, this project puts a big

emphasis on educating students to be environmentally conscious.  The most gratifying part of the whole project was, undoubtedly, when the 7-year-old students got to hold the chicks in their hands, after having witnessed the whole process of incubation and hatching.




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