Students Gear Up for the Intel Fair

Lauren Jai, Features Editor

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On  February 21st, science research students had the opportunity to present their projects at the annual Palos Verdes Peninsula Science and Engineering Fair.

The science fair allows for students to present their projects to judges while explaining their process and experimentation process.

Thirteen projects were chosen to advance to the LA County Science Fair, and one project was chosen to go straight to the Intel ISEF competition.

Juniors Anton Lok and Steven Davis were two PV High students who qualified for the Intel ISEF competition in Phoenix in May, an international competition that consists of students from 80 different countries around the world.

The two of them began their project in October, and with the help of science research teacher Julie Munoz, they developed their project.

For the science fair, Lok and Davis designed a continuously variable transmission for the science fair, formally known as the “Design and Engineering with a Cam Based Infinity Variable Transmission System.”

Davis explains that in modern cars today, transmissions have a set number of gears, usually four or six.

Their design creates an infinite number of gear ratios so there is no shifting that goes on–it is continuously changing.

“Our design allows cars to run their motors at peak efficiency or peak power, so you can get a much more efficient vehicle, use less energy, put out fewer carbon emissions, and make a faster car,” Davis said.

The concept that they based their project on is not new, as there have been continuously variable transmissions in the past.

However, they are not suitable for most vehicles since they are very low powered.

At the Intel Science Fair, Davis and Lok plan to bring the same project that they competed with some improvements.

“We removed frictional interfaces so we could put it on a higher powered vehicle,” Davis said.

To create this project, Lok and Davis came up with the design, created a few mathematical models to ensure that their system would work, and created models on cam, using a 3D printer to test it out.

“We are planning on making a real working model in the future when they take it to the Intel Science Fair,” Lok and Davis said.

They received help from Ms. Munoz as well as other teachers, but mostly created the project on their own.

“We are planning on pursuing this project outside the science fair. We are planning on applying for a US patent before the Intel science fair. If it ends up being a real working product, we can try to market it and take it to a real vehicle,” Davis said.

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