Tread Trackers

Centerfield Elementary Pyrotechnics

Trash Trek- Recycling Tires

The current way industries and individuals recycle tires is not efficient or effective. In 2011 alone 265 million tires were sent to stock piles to sit and take up space. The number of consumers and manufacturers that sent tires to recycling plants were 221 million. Out of 221 million tires that were recycled 130 million were recycled for fuel, 56 million for civil engineering projects, 28 million for ground rubber applications, and then 7 million used for new products.

The recycled tires go to a commercial processing plant where they scrap the tires with chemicals to break them down into a reusable material. Some plants use a process called de-vulcanization, this breaks down and removes the sulfur. Depending on which plant they are sent to, some of them use liquid nitrogen to break down the sulfur instead.

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The Problem with the Current Ways We Recycle Tires

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Tires take up too much space in landfills and stockpiles, which is making these look for more land to occupy. Plus, when they have to extract the sulfur and burn it, it is causing pollution to the air and ground. The tires that are not being recycled and just dumped are trapping methane gases and creating problems in the landfills. The extracted rubber is also sifting down into the soil and water sources which is polluting them and effecting wildlife.

Another problem is that people have to take their tires to a local facility or tire retailer to have them recycled, which cost money depending on what state you live in. In Kentucky you have to pay $1.00 per tire you take to recycle. A lot of towns and cities do not even have a recycle center for tires nearby, there fore just dump the tires in landfills.

In Kentucky tire piles of wast are causing mosquito infestation and fires. Tire fires can burn for several weeks, causing millions of dollars of damage including soil, surface water and ground water contamination.

To sum up the problems are: expense, pollution, convenience, and restrictions.

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Innovative Solution

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The innovative solution our team has come up with is to recycle the rubber on the tires to place on the soles of kids athletic shoes. The shoes will also have a pocket in the tongue for our computer chip/usb tracker that they can take out at any given time and download information like: calories burned, distance, heart rate, vigorous motions, and speed.

The difference in our shoes, as apposed to other companies that are currently using recycled tires to create new shoes, is that we are making them for children that are involved in athletics and want to monitor their health. The companies that currently make these types of shoes are selling anywhere from $120-$140 a pair, according to Idosole, Timberland, and Omni United.

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Our Shoe Prototype Picture

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Research on "What do Athletes look for in an Athletic Shoe"

The research we have done on what athletes look for in their shoes came up with these common characteristics: last longer than average shoes (durability), the fit is secure and snug around instep/ankles, arch support, flexibility, attractive, and reasonably priced.

After finding this information we sought out an expert that deals with athletes all the time and the following is our informational session with Athletic Trainer Kim McElhinney.

We taped ourselves presenting our problem and innovative solution and placed it on teachertube. We then asked the Librarian at South Oldham Middle School to play it for their athletic clubs and see what advice or questions they may have about our product.

We also consulted an expert, Mr. Greenwell a car engieneer, to create the prototype for our shoe. Then spoke to Rick Fischer whom is a Mechanical Engineer about our measurements and missions, when trying to determine rotations and movements of our robot.

Video of Pyrotechnics Presenting to Elementary Running Club on Tread Trackers

FLL running club

Engineer - Marty Henderson - Speaking with us about.....

FLL professional