Year 12 students studying Senior Science, Physics and Chemistry recently participated in workshops presented by ‘Engineers without Borders Australia’, a humanitarian and not for profit organisation. The presenters were Engineering students from the University of Sydney.
In the first workshop students looked at the extreme adversity faced by people living in Cambodia where there are literally millions of landmines. Cambodia’s notorious landmine problem is the product of a civil war that spanned three decades. In 2013 it was reported that 40,000 people — one out of every 290 Cambodians — were amputees. Our students were challenged to use biomedical engineering to built a prosthetic limb using common materials.
In the second workshop students looked at various accommodation options for people living in Cambodia where flood waters can rise by 10m between the wet and dry seasons. Students considered possible solutions to this housing problem. They then created a floating house as a solution to this real world problem. Students competed in teams to see who could create the floating house holding the most weight.
Throughout the afternoon students were challenged to look for solutions to real problems in other parts of the world, broadening their worldview and compassion for those who are less fortunate.