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Engineering Solutions for Real-world Problems

As part of Year 10 Chemistry, we recently participated in a workshop run by Engineers Without Borders (EWB). EWB is an organisation whose purpose is to "create social value through engineering."

EWB ran an engaging activity that was based on a real-world humanitarian challenge, to provide clean water through water purification. In groups, we were assigned countries and given a designated amount of money and a set of instructions. Some groups were given enough money to buy everything required for water purification while others didn't have much money. The countries which had fewer resources had to adapt, making deals with the other countries which had more resources. For example, India provided New Zealand with military support in exchange for money. In our groups we then built our water purification devices, some with clear instructions and others with more complicated instructions which they had to try and interpret themselves. After putting our devices to the test, some worked better than others. In the end, India won. 

The workshop taught us about career pathways, what engineers do, and that effective engineering solutions for real-world problems must take numerous factors into consideration in the design process such as cost, maintenance and availability of resources. This workshop was a great real-life link to the Chemistry that we have been studying in class.

Lily (Year 10)