Shell STEM Youth Innovation Challenge: Water Theme Finalist- Damai Secondary School, The SQUIRTLE

From 20 June, Shell STEM Youth Innovation Challenge finalists from four different competition themes- Water, Food, Energy and Eco-friendly materials will share with you the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) behind their projects.  You may view all finalists’ prototypes on 13 July 2015, 2pm – 5pm at the Grassroots’ Club (Address: 190 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, Singapore 568046).  This challenge is sponsored by Shell Companies in Singapore, supported by Ministry of Education (Singapore) and organised by STEM Inc, Science Centre Singapore.  Like us on Shell STEM Challenge Facebook page.

Below is an article by the Water theme finalists (Viki Natasha Wong Ee Lin, Jovis Loh Xuan Lyn, Nur Shafina Bte Hussin, Muhammad Aqil Marzuq B Juhari, Muhammad Hilman B Mohamad Sham, Talib Hazlan Plaquia) from Damai Secondary School, the SQUIRTLE:

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Team SQUIRTLE
Credit: STEM Inc

Water is a universal need for everybody. Hence, it is important that we meet current and future demand for water. As such, our project focuses on water conservation. Our team decided to minimize water wastage while bathing, an inspiration came when we were talking with our STEM Educator, Miss Joceyln Ng. She has steered our jokes and funny moments into ideas for this project. We are very appreciative because without her, we would not have been able to generate this idea together.

This is how it works.  Prior to bathing, we often switch on the heater to allow the water to heat up. However, when we switch on the tap, the water that dispenses out of the showerhead usually stays cold. As such, people tend to waste the first few seconds of water that comes out of the showerhead by pointing the showerhead away from our body.

To solve this problem, our team SQUIRTLE built a system that helps to save the first few seconds of water that comes out of the showerhead. Included in this system is a temperature sensor that helps to direct the water back into a storage tank when the water is not at the preferred temperature. The water will only be ejected if the temperature of the water reaches the preferred temperature. This can be done by using a two-way valve which helps to determine the direction of the water flow.

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Credit: STEM Inc

To build this system, we have been exposed to learn new skills such as Arduino programming, electronic prototyping and woodwork at the Skills Workshops conducted by STEM Inc. The skills attained from Arduino workshop had enabled us to “activate” and bring our prototype to live.

Shell STEM Youth Innovation Challenge 2015 has given us a much appreciated opportunity to get in touch with real science in the real world at such a young age. It has broadened our perception towards engineering and science, and we think that it is a good time to gain invaluable experience that could potentially be useful in making our future career choices. Being able to work with some of my fellow classmates made me realised that some of them have many weirdly-creative ideas! We are very thankful and grateful to be participating in this challenge. This is because we feel very comforted and honoured to be trusted by our teachers that we have the potential to complete this challenge.

All that we hope to achieve from this competition is of course, for our project to work out well as intended and to be used by everyone. That would be our greatest achievement.

Eng Yee Peng is the Manager for Media & Communications from STEM Inc, Science Centre Singapore.  Once a TV Writer/Director, Independent Filmmaker and Book Writer, she’s now enjoying working on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by capitalising on the integration of both the digital and traditional media. This article is facilitated by Yee Peng and written by the students from Team SQUIRTLE.

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