Thursday, 26 May 2016

Third Day (26 May, Thursday)

From the project sharing sessions, I have been given a deeper insight on each project even though I have not attended all of them. One interesting concept I learnt was that of the different scientific terms. An example would be during the sharing session of Project 6: Building a Flying Machine, they mentioned terms such as "drag", "weight" and "yaw" with meant the opposite of the direction of movement, the pull of gravity and the twisting or oscillation of a moving craft about a vertical axis. These are all valuable pieces of knowledge. Another example would be from Project 4: Water Tower Challenge. Other than sharing their project, they also shared how the water tower should be built in order to support more weight. This is namely putting the supporting sticks under the base and strategically placing the support sticks of the tower such as directly under the base as an extra support as that would prevent the base on top from bending too much. In the sharing session of Project 5: Obstacle Course Challenge Using Mobile Robot, they shared the process of how they programmed the robot. Firstly they had to learn the basics then slowly build up the knowledge and apply it to the challenge. They also had to look out for coding errors that were quite predominant in this area. Such an approach can actually also be applied to our everyday activities. When we start exploring something new, we must always first build up our foundation then slowly take in everything around us and build upon our castle of knowledge. During this process, we also need to point out any of our mistakes so that they will not be repeated in the future.

I feel that this NTU-SST flagship programme has given me a deeper understanding on engineering and physics. Relating first back to my own project, I have learnt much about the mechanics of the steam engine. Previously I had limited knowledge on this topic yet now I understand that because of the steam has a much higher density than water, hence, it pushes the water in the tubes outwards. The movement then causes a thrust, pushing the boat forward. When the steam condenses on the cool metal surfaces, the pressure reduces, pulling water back in. As such, the process repeats over and over again.

Overall, I feel that the sharing session was a great opportunity for students to share what they have learnt. Furthermore, we were required to use our own materials (photos and videos) as far as possible to illustrate our project. Through the presentations and sharing sessions, even those only to their peers, we as students were able to express our learning process and how we have interpreted  the projects. The various student mentors and professors were also key in assisting us during our experimentation and provided us with valuable knowledge and insights on the various projects. All of them put in tremendous effort to help and support us granted their tight and busy schedules. Thank you to all of them! Lastly, I feel that the sharing sessions not only benefitted oneself in strengthening our knowledge on our own various scientific or design concepts, but also allowed the audience comprising of both teachers and students to hear about their individual projects. This allowed all of us to gain new knowledge making it a meaningful session indeed.

Some images from the sharing sessions:

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