On Wednesday 25th April, 60 Mosslands students put their engineering, creativity, teamwork and entrepreneurial skills to the test when they took part in the Smart Building Challenge, run by the Smallpeice Trust.
On the day, students were challenged to create a prototype smart water filter which followed the Trust’s philosophy of; “simplicity in design, economy in production”. This involved not only having to design and build the prototype but also to keep a close eye on the finance side of production and develop a presentation to showcase the benefits of their invention.
However, the day began with a simpler challenge… at least on paper.
Each team was provided with 10 pieces of A4 paper and a 100g weight. The task: To use only the paper provided to build the highest structure capable of supporting the weight for at least ten seconds.
The air was thick with tension as each team vied for the honour of first place. While teams debated the pros and cons of folded versus rolled paper, Corey, Ben, Alfie and Lewis in Team 6 appeared to have cracked it as their first successful attempt stood at an impressive 84.5 cm. However, Adel, Danny, Josh and Dominic in team 3 soon matched this achievement and the race to the top continued.
Next, team 6 returned to try and claim the title with an impressive 106cm tower – but their hopes of victory were dashed as the tower came tumbling down when the weight was placed on top. Team 3 returned to the contest with their next creation, which stood at 105.5cm. The weight was placed carefully on top… would it hold? Thankfully it did and team 3 were announced the winners.
But the contest was not over…
Team 6 returned yet again, with an imposing 125cm tower. The whole hall waited with bated breath as the weight was placed, then removed. Adjustments were made and the weight was lowered once again. All eyes were on team 6… could they take the crown from team 3? Unfortunately, it was not to be, and their tower collapsed under the weight. Team 3, breathed a sigh of relief – their victory was safe!
It was now time for the main event. After learning how social media is always listening to us (and how to turn off an app’s permission to access your phone’s microphone), the teams then began their main task: to design and build a smart water filter.