Year 9 HSIE/Science Project
Last week Year 9 students presented their own solution to possible future food scarcity. All HSIE and Science teachers were very impressed with student creativity, skills used for problem solving, and finished products. This was a combined HSIE and Science project, using a project based learning framework which students worked on in both HSIE and Science classes since the beginning of Term 3.
Their driving question for this task was:
‘In 2050 the world is estimated to have 10 billion people and food shortages as a result. The United Nations looks to Year 9 PCS students for help. How can we feed the world while sustaining the environment?’
Some students have briefly outlined their solutions below:
‘Our solution for logging is underground farming and a solar tree. We have created a turbine machine within the trunk of our tree in order to generate electricity and irrigation. This works as the funnels catch water, the solar panels capture light and the tree can spin in order to capture wind. Lastly, a pipe underneath the farm collects excess water and nutrients from the crops which travel to a separate tank. This cycles the water back up to the irrigation pipe so we can use it for irrigation again' - Izabel Salinas
‘The EMU (Electric Mesh Unit) is a ground-mounted cane toad deterrent machine. It is a circular mesh, deployed using piston from each arm to make a 6m diameter net that is placed on the ground. This net is made of conductive, exposed wire that is given an electrical charge from the target system. This system uses a thermal camera coupled with an AI trained algorithm to detect heat signatures from cane toads. Once the criteria are met, there are more than ten signatures on the mesh and there are no larger heat signatures such as livestock on the mesh. Once this criterion is met, the net will release an electric pulse equal to 12 volts, enough to kill at least 10 small organisms. The unit also features four IP64 rated speakers that play the cane toad's mating call attracting cane toads from kilometres away.
The main goal of this device is to reduce the exponentially growing population of the predatory cane toad species. Not only will this protect native wildlife from the deadly toxins of cane toads, but also grazing livestock which accounts for 44% of the overall agriculture gross volume profit in fat North Queensland. This product would provide economic and environmental benefits to farmers in the region and to the surrounding ecosystems and native wildlife' - Vaughan Todd