The Ingenuity Expo is an exhibition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects completed by graduate students from the University of Adelaide. Held in the Adelaide Convention Centre on Thursday the 31st of October, the Year 11 Specialist Mathematics, Physics and the 10A Mathematics students of Pulteney Grammar attended the event. The Ingenuity Expo provides an opportunity for students to gain an insight into the wide-ranging fields that are underpinned by STEM subjects. Pulteney Grammar student, Tyson Nguyen, was fortunate enough to win a voucher for voting in the best exhibit award and as a school, Pulteney Grammar has been selected to work with members of the Computer Science Research Group from the University of Adelaide in Digital Technologies with a focus on virtual reality. This workshop will take place in Term 1 2020.
Some of the feedback from students attending the expo are below:
After an introductory speech, where two students explained examples of projects they have completed, we were set loose into the main hall, where many, many different stalls were set up with a large variety of projects. The first stall my peers and I went was that of a mechanical engineering student who had been testing a new form of jet propulsion called a ‘Rotating detonation engine’. The concept of this engine was to induce a constant supersonic combustion within the engine, greatly increase efficiency at supersonic speeds. We also saw displays relating to biology, chemistry, maths and IT such as VR simulations. Pulteney Old Scholars Dennis Liu, Josh Johnston, Tristram Fyfe, Srinivas Sakibanda and Jakob Valk also made an appearance, showing off their end of year projects as they approach their graduation from university. Overall, the event was extremely enjoyable and eye-opening to the range of different projects that were related to STEM that could be undertaken after graduating from Pulteney. All the students who went highly recommend students take this opportunity.
I arrived with, I must admit a certain amount of overwhelmed aw. I always love this convention, and I always know entering that there is no way, none at all, that I will have time to visit every single project. However I did not let this dampen my spirits and I proceeded to take a standard circuit of the centre, circuit is the wrong word, I wandered, going over to whatever seemed the most interesting that I could see.
First, I ended up at an architecture project, where I had a conversation about how much sway an architect actually has over the construction process and then used a VR headset where I explored a 3D representation of a theatre being designed. Then, I saw a project that had clearly done everything to be eye catching, it’s creator was wearing a vibrant green bowtie and standing proudly in front of a metal canister and some hydroponically grown plants, my curiosity was instantly spiked. After talking for a while about his project, I think I began to understand the essence of his project. He had harvested wild sower sobs and broken them down into their chemical components using the aforementioned canister, this being a stand in for growing them with harvested water, as they require little else (I’m a assuming they could be supplied with nurturance by other means, possibly human waste). After that, He used the chemicals to create a rich soup in which other plants could be cultivated, this then led to a cycle of growing, harvesting, using and re-planting. Creating an almost enterally closed system for the production of plants in hostile environments. His project was also produced with a negative carbon footprint, something very much worth noting. I voted for his project as the most interesting on that day. One of the later ones I looked at was a means of decomposing material in an artificial chemical stomach and syphoning of the gas from decomp to use as fuel. That would have to be my second choice if I had the opportunity to input another into the competition. After inputting my vote I constructed a makeshift prosthetic leg, It was largely ineffective but they people running the stall where kind enough to still consider it a contribution. I entered VR once more this time in a painting program, I think it served no purpose beyond expression, but it was still very entertaining.
I met one more project of note regarding the dumping of dies into natural rivers after manufacture, or more, reducing the harm there by. It’s very complex but I think it boils down to this, after a two week assembly process, a small tile is produced with a miniscule amount of gold made into it, this gold interacts with photons on the level at which it can break up the dies chemical composition, after a while, the die’s concentration is so minimal that the dumping of it into a natural river, while still not good, will do minimal harm.
And that was largely my day, I was saddened to have to leave, knowing it would be another full year before I would have the chance to go again, but I remain hopeful and look forward to it.