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Green Heart Schools Future BNE Challenge 2018

As part of the World Science Festival 2018, 10 Year 7 students from CHAC were selected to participate in the Future BNE challenge. They travelled by train to South Bank Piazza where they undertook the challenge.

Gay Ellyett
Coordinator: Exceptional Scientists' Program

We started the day looking at many stalls and displays around the piazza, as we were in the afternoon group. All the stalls were based on water, which was the main focus of the day. One stall was about how the different catchments and dams in our area work. Another was about how flushable wipes aren’t actually flushable and are blocking up our sewerage pipes, and how the only thing to flush down your toilets is toilet paper. Another stall let us touch sea creatures. The last stall was a Street Science stall and showed us how to make the artificial snow that is used in movies. It can be agreed that this was one of everyone’s favourite stalls, as there was a competition for who could tip the water the fastest as, the faster you tipped it, the quicker the chemicals, which are a variant of nappy powder, absorb and expand, and the larger your snow gets. We were allowed to bring the snow home to show everyone.

We listened to Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who some of you may know from Dr Karl’s Outrageous Acts of Science, talk about our water supplies in Australia and his opinion of when we will run out of water. After that, we watched a Street Science Presentation where they did a few experiments, with a lot of ‘blowing stuff up’. My favourite experiment was when they set fire to a balloon filled with hydrogen and a bit of copper. When the balloon ignited, it exploded in a large green fireball with a loud bang.

Each team was presented with a scenario that occurs in the year 2100. Our challenge on the day was to find a solution for water problems concerning the polar icecaps. In fact, the actual cue card read, “The southern polar icecap is melting, causing [the] sea level to rise. How might we redesign our city to mitigate [the] impacts that this influx of water has on metropolitan areas.” Our solution was to design the city with high walls and deep trenches surrounding it, so it would be harder for water to flood the city. Our second idea was an emergency centre, which acted as its own self-sustaining, self-contained ecosystem, for people to go, to get protected from potential floods. We made models to demonstrate our ideas and then a short video to communicate our ideas to the judges. We all played a part, acting as either sponsors, interviewers, government officials or reporters. There may have been many things taught in the program, but one of the things many of us have certainly taken away from this activity is that we really do take clean water and its availability for granted.

Danielle Weizman, Year 7 

Cannon Hill Anglican College worked very well as a group, while also having a lot of laughs along the way.

Luke, Sivyer, Year 7 

The Future BNE Challenge was a test of creativity and innovation. Our team was told that the water levels were rising and flooding the land with dirty water, and it was our duty to come up with a solution. We all had to work as a team to design our idea and build a model out of recycled material. This taught us the importance of communication and collaboration when working as a team. I found the building aspect of the challenge interesting and difficult, as we all had different modification ideas. In the end, we were all very satisfied with what we had made and walked off inspired, engaged and ready for the future.

Tom Wood,Year 7

We thought of many ideas for our task. We had to make a model about a way to protect the city from water rising in the year 2100. This was a great experience, and helped us learn so much. We were so happy to have the opportunity to participate in this challenge.

Lucy Farrell,Year 7