The two year 7 classes experienced the ‘Water for Life’ workshop where the concepts of engineering (to design a useable product) combined with the elements of humanitarian aid. Each group of students were given a country to build the water filter for. The amount of money (to buy materials) and the instructions they were given, reflected the different resources of each country. Their aim: to turn VERY muddy water into clean water. The twist was that each group was a different country with different resources to reflect challenges faced by different countries. Students soon began ‘diplomatic talks’ to request loans or foreign aid to support their ability to build the filter. Students were fully engaged in the process and the final test of the filters was nerve wracking for some!
Here are some of our reflections.
In the real world each country has a different way to get clean water. – Thomas Dai
I now have a better understanding of other countries and how hard it is to get clean water. – Sophie Gleeson
Now I’ve seen this activity I might kind of want to be an engineer. – Poppy Haugh
Today some people from Monash University and the Origin Gas Plant came to talk to us about Engineering. The different types of engineering were just some of the things we covered. We used cheese cloth, charcoal, fine sand, coarse sand and fine gravel to make our filter. – Lucy Jones
I learnt how to filter water with rocks and sand. There are different types of water you get from filtering. The water in Australia has to have a turbidity under 5 to be able to drink. - Tom Archibald
Having Engineers without Borders come really opened my eyes to the more unfortunate countries like Ethiopia and Vietnam. They have unclean water and a lot less materials to filter water with than we do. They have to filter water by hand. I also realised that the countries that are sympathetic to others will give what they can to help. – Mali Glendinning