Imagine you and your space crew have to crash land on a strange planet as you are exploring a new galaxy. How do you survive with the limited resources you have on hand? This was the scenario 66 secondary two school students have to face during ENGnite 720°, an event jointly organized by Catholic High School and NUS Engineering on 29 and 31 May.
The students, working in teams of three, were given four survival tasks of securing food, building a shelter, accessing clean water and defending themselves against possible danger. Each team were provided with a survival kit of materials for use in the four tasks. Over the course of the two-day event, the participants got creative and worked out innovative engineering solutions to meet the challenges.
“We thought that we wouldn’t come in first place but we just tried our best. The challenges posed caught us off-guard but it got us thinking like how an engineer would. That enabled us to solve these problems more effectively. It was a fun and enriching experience for us! We are more than willing to return and contribute as seniors, and would definitely recommend ENGnite 720° to our juniors,” enthused Andre Koh, who together with his team mates Clarence Emmanuel Chua and Ong Yan Deng of Catholic High School, came in as the overall champion for the event. They also came in top for the shelter challenge.
Now into its third year, ENGnite 720° seeks to introduce engineering in a fun way to lower secondary school students. This year, apart from Catholic High School, the event also saw the participation of students from St. Nicholas Girls’ School and Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.
“ENGnite 720° was a great experience for us. We came expecting that Engineering was just Physics or a ‘boys’ thing, but it wasn’t! We were able to apply what we’ve learnt in School (i.e. Math and Science) in developing innovative ways to tackle the challenges posed. This has indeed made Engineering more interesting and relevant towards us, girls. We are glad we signed up for this,” shared Li Un U of Singapore Chinese Girls’ School. Un U and her team mates, Elizabeth Paulyn Gostelow and Phylicia Kee Yu Xin were the second runner-up for the event.
Besides working on the challenges, the participants were also given a tour of different projects undertaken by students from the NUS Engineering’s Innovation and Design Centric Programme (iDCP). The various projects offer the students a glimpse into real-life applications of engineering solutions.