Innovative Engineering from Young Scientists: Year 6 Honours Students Tackle Flood Impact Issues - Glasshouse Christian College

Innovative Engineering from Young Scientists: Year 6 Honours Students Tackle Flood Impact Issues

  • October 12, 2023

Innovative Engineering from Young Scientists: Year 6 Honours Students Tackle Flood Impact Issues

Last term, our Year 6 Honours students delved deep into the world of science, uncovering innovative solutions to some of the pressing challenges faced by communities affected by floods. Through their exploration, students have not only demonstrated their creativity and problem-solving skills but have also showcased their commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

Investigating Flood Impacts in Lismore

Our young scientists embarked on a journey to investigate the far-reaching consequences of floods, with a particular focus on the aftermath of recent floods in Lismore. The students were tasked with identifying problems and engineering practical solutions, working collaboratively in teams of three.

Flood-Proof Pants: Cooper, Aaron, and Bryce’s Solution

One of our teams, consisting of Cooper, Aaron, and Bryce, decided to address the issue of floodwater contamination during clean-up efforts. They ingeniously crafted “Flood-proof pants” designed to fully shield the wearer’s feet and legs from floodwater, reducing the risk of illness associated with exposure to contaminated water.

Negative Pressure Asbestos Removal Chamber: Allegra, Isaac, and Liam’s Invention

Another team, composed of Allegra, Isaac, and Liam, took on the formidable challenge of dealing with asbestos contamination. The team were fortunate to have asbestos expert Paul Hetmanska share his expertise around asbestos risks, removal, and containment. They learned that many old buildings still contain asbestos, posing a grave health risk when disturbed during flood-related activities. To combat this, the team engineered a “Negative Pressure Asbestos Removal Chamber” with an innovative design incorporating a furnace within a negative pressure environment. This concept allows asbestos to be safely removed by causing it to fall to the bottom of the chamber and vacuum-sealed, preventing harmful inhalation.

The team’s hands-on experimentation with a downscaled model of the chamber yielded some surprising results. Among them, the revelation that marshmallows expand significantly when deprived of air and that shaving cream, when exposed to reduced pressure, experiences remarkable transformations such as expanding and heating up.

Portable Water Purifier: Byron, Sean, and Oscar’s Contribution

The third team, comprised of Byron, Sean, and Oscar, tackled the pressing issue of contaminated drinking water in flood-affected areas. They engineered a “Portable Water Purification Unit” in consultation with Rob Mitchell, an expert from ENV Solutions. This unit, created from a section of drainage pipe with a tap attachment, contains multiple layers of filtering materials, including glass, carbon, gravel, carbon pad, and mesh. Through experimentation, the team optimised the filtration process by arranging the media from finer materials at the top to coarser materials at the bottom, ensuring maximum effectiveness.

Science Contest Entry

We are excited to announce that our teams have submitted their ingenious engineering designs to the Science Teachers Association of Queensland Science Contest. We wish them all the best and have every confidence that their innovative solutions will shine.

It is so encouraging seeing our young people engaged in such important future-proofing innovation. It solidifies our hope in the next generation and reinforces our belief in their ability to shape a better world through science and creativity.

Jasmine Bauista, Honours Program Teacher

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