Mak­ing the fu­ture

New Straits Times - - Higher Ed -

THE Shell Eco-marathon has been run­ning in Europe for more than three decades and in the United States since 2007.

It de­buted in Asia in 2010 and Malaysia was the first coun­try in this re­gion to host the com­pe­ti­tion, which pro­vides an arena for stu­dents to test ve­hi­cles they de­sign and build them­selves.

It aims to in­spire young peo­ple to be­come sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers of the fu­ture.

In ev­ery re­gion, sim­i­lar rules ap­ply in which all ve­hi­cles must pass a set of tech­ni­cal tests be­fore they are al­lowed onto the com­pe­ti­tion cir­cuit to see how far they can get on the least amount of fuel, and po­ten­tially achieve the high­est mileage in the com­pe­ti­tion.

The eighth edi­tion this year, which saw stu­dent teams from the Asia Pa­cific and the Mid­dle East show­case their self-built ve­hi­cles, was held in con­junc­tion with Shell’s Make the Fu­ture (MTF) Sin­ga­pore festival of ideas and in­no­va­tion.

Vis­i­tors were able to, through vir­tual re­al­ity and hands-on ex­pe­ri­en­tial zones, ex­plore what is hap­pen­ing now and see what the fu­ture of en­ergy might look like, from re­new­able en­ergy to nat­u­ral gas and low-car­bon tech­nolo­gies.

This was the Asian in­stal­ment of a global festival of ideas, fo­cused on en­ergy, which saw 22,000 vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing school­child­ren, who were brought by their teach­ers.

There were three in­ter­ac­tive zones, namely Our En­ergy Fu­ture, On the Move and Live, Work, Play.

Un­der a Bright Ideas Chal­lenge, sec­ondary school stu­dents com­peted to de­sign en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient so­lu­tions for fu­ture cities.

The chal­lenge was won by a team from Green­view Sec­ondary School whose idea was a city where food waste was con­verted into en­ergy in the ab­sence of oxy­gen through mi­cro-or­gan­isms.

Also fea­tured was an im­mer­sive ex­peri- ence where a lo­cal play­back the­atre troupe chal­lenged del­e­gates to think both crit­i­cally and cre­atively of so­lu­tions to make a cleaner en­ergy fu­ture for Asia.

The the­atri­cal per­for­mance was in­spired by the pi­lot Imag­ine the Fu­ture Sce­nar­ios Com­pe­ti­tion, in which the win­ning stu­dent team from Sin­ga­pore’s Nanyang Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity pre­sented two con­trast­ing sce­nar­ios of how peo­ple in Asia would live, work and play in 2050.

This year’s MTF took on an ad­di­tional el­e­ment of ex­cite­ment with the in­au­gu­ral Driv­ers’ World Cham­pi­onship (DWC) Asia, an ex­cit­ing race for­mat in which four out of 12 short­listed teams from the Ur­banCon­cept cat­e­gory raced head-to-head to see who would be the fastest while run­ning on limited fuel.

Teams were given a fixed amount of en­ergy, based on their mileage chal­lenge per­for­mance, to com­plete the dis­tance of the fi­nal race.

The De La Salle Univer­sity team from the Philip­pines, which won the race, will be joined by two run­ners-up teams from In­done­sia to rep­re­sent Asia in the face-off against the best three teams from both the Amer­i­cas and Europe.

The Grand Fi­nal cham­pion will gain a on­cein-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence at the home of Scud­e­ria Fer­rari in Italy.

Mak­ing sci­ence a fun fam­ily af­fair.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.