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UVA (End in sight / Engineering project)

JamezNeedsHelp 1 / 4  
Dec 31, 2011   #1
I am just looking for help to proofread and imporve!
I will edit your essay in return!

Describe the world you come from and how that world shaped who you are.

There was no end in sight. The sun shone with an intensity I had never felt before, as I made my way up the loose gravel of the mountain side. The air was thin at 12,000 feet and left me gasping for breath. The perspiration stung as it rolled into my tear ducts. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as pushed by body to limits it had never gone before. My resolute was unwavering; I would not quit. It was exhilarating to step out of my comfort zone and be challenged in ways which I would have thought were once impossible. This is why I was here.

The mountains of New Mexico are a far cry from the city of Springfield. I may live in a suburban setting, but it is not the world I come from. I come from a world which has a deep love for nature and a desire to push myself to my limits. The world of backpacking has given me an outlet to experience the nature often absent in suburban lifestyles. When I first went to put on a pack, I struggled to put it on. The weight was immense. This burden I carried on my shoulders was not dissimilar from the ones I carried in my day-to-day life. However, backpacking has given me the confidence and courage to overcome the obstacles life has thrown at me.

Backpacking is so much more than a physical endeavor, it has fostered virtues such as leadership, confidence, and determination; qualities which I believe will help me to achieve success in later life.

The second essay is part of the engineering supplement, The problem I am having is that I wrote an essay which I like however the project I describe does not really sound like something an engineer would design!

If I were given funding for a small engineering project I would design and build more sustainable housing in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Living conditions in the reservation are similar to those found in third world countries. Many families living in Pine Ridge do not have running water, electricity, or heating.

Housing that is cheaper, more durable, and more efficient would be beneficial to the lives of many people living on the reservation. I would build a single home as a proof of concept. The design of the house would be centered on a single solar panel. The solar panel would convert the sun's energy to electricity. I would have to a design a method which could efficiently store electricity. The walls of the home would be constructed from straw bales. This renewable resource is found in abundance across the mid-west making it the ideal building material. Straw is a great insulator and is much more efficient in retaining heat than traditional reservation style housing.

South Dakota is known for its harsh winters. While my grandmother lived on the reservation she contracted pneumonia which permanently scarred the tissue of her lungs. Like many of the inhabitants of the pine ridge reservation, her home did not have heating or insulation. I believe the design that I have proposed has the potential to not only improve the quality of life, but also save lives.

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