St Luke’s Christmas Party
Special Projects held a Christmas party for the elderly of St Luke’s Eldercare on 25th December 2017 to celebrate and bring the joy of Christmas for them. The elderly was exposed to a carnival style games that had interactions between them and the student volunteers. One of the activities carried out was the making of Tang Yuan (gluttonous rice balls), something that was highly receptive from the elderly as it provided a somewhat homely feel. This has led to great interaction between the student volunteers of MAE and the elderlies as they made, cook and ate the Tang Yuan. Other stations involved in the carnival had games which focused on simple mobility for the participants.
Geared for hope
Special Projects held a collaborative event with MAE Club Sports portfolio, close to recess week in March 2018. This event promoted the interaction between MAE students and the physically disabled from Singapore Disabled Sport Council through a joint run around the track at The Wave NTU. Through sweating it out together, friendships were forged between participants involved.
Special Projects held an engineering focused project that involved with the designing and building of a compost machine aiming to educate and inspire the primary school children of Jurong West Primary and Boon Lay Garden Primary. The process of compost making through waste produced by the school canteen was educated to the students to inspire the school to reduce food wastage and in the process, produce compost for the school garden. The compost machine was built using recycled and discarded materials to further emphasize the need to save the earth while the process of building relied heavily of engineering knowledge imparted unto the students involved. The student volunteers had a chance to learn and try drilling, sawing and other hands-on skills.
Special Projects held an educational event that involved the youths of Fei Yue Community Services Singapore. The youths were given a tour around the school of MAE including facilities such as the Innovation@MAE lab. We showed them the 3D printed Nanyang Venture vehicles that previously participated in competitions for NTU and showed them first-hand how 3D printing works. In addition, we conducted a Solidworks workshop in the CAE lab where they learned to create a 3D sketch of a car which they brought back as a memento along with a personalized key chain. The event’s intention was to expose the youths to the interesting aspect of engineering and hopefully provide a reason for them to not give up hope. The highly interactive style of conducting the event allowed MAE students to actively engage the youths and the beneficiaries were extremely happy to be able to learn something different and something tangible to bring home.
In collaboration with Fei Yue, Special Projects organised Carnival Fortitude, on 20 May 2017. This event was attended by 40 youths (between 13 to 17 years old) from low-income families.
Through the event’s aim was to
- Engage youth in activities that they will not usually get to experience;
- Expose youth to the engineering faculty in NTU;
- Garner their interest in engineering and inspire them to pursue a university education in future;
- Instil the spirit of fortitude in both, participants and volunteers; and
- Allow MAE students to have fun and volunteer for a social cause at the same time.
Participants were taught how to apply basic engineering concepts to build gliders, which were then used as competition pieces to see which group’s glider could fly the furthest. They were further engaged in engineering related devices such as drones, robo-arm and robo-cars in a rotating station game. It was clear that the youth really enjoyed the event and have request more of such activities to be organised in future.
32 MAE students were appointed as Group Leaders, Game Masters and Operations Personnel to ensure that the event ran smoothly.
For an average child suffering from cerebral palsy, slower motor skills and restrictions in mobility has disqualified them from playing with most electronic toys available in the market. Toys specially tailored for these children are high in productivity costs and therefore very expensive. This sculpted the mission for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Club Special Projects Committee to collaborate with Engineering Good, a non-profit organisation that empowers disadvantaged communities by improving their quality of life through sustainable engineering solutions.
MAE HackAble Outreach is the first large-scale community outreach programme organised, that looks at tapping the skills and knowledge of MAE students, to engage them in a hands-on learning experience to build low-cost, assistive devices for children suffering from cerebral palsy. The aim of the event was to expose engineering students to humanitarian engineering and show them how engineering can be applied for a social cause.
40 MAE students spent their Saturday morning learning how to apply basic engineering skills
such as soldering, electrical rewiring and troubleshooting, to build assistive switches for the beneficiaries. These assistive switches are low-cost and can be re-wired into the circuits of off-the-shelf toys for easy activation by children with special needs, providing an affordable an innovative solution to their problem. The switches not only restore their joy in playing, but also encourage movement and the improvement of their motor skills.
For children with special needs, the switch-adapted toys made during the workshops help to enhance their learning and educational opportunities and gain independence in activities of daily living. For example, a switch-adapted toy enables a child with special needs to play independently and learn through play, and his/her therapist is also able to use the same switch adapted toy to motivate him/her during therapy, to improve his/her physical and cognitive.
At the end of the event, all assistive devices created were donated to charities providing special education for children with disabilities such as Rainbow Centre Singapore, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore and AWWA.
Incito was first undertaken by the Special Projects during the previous academic year in collaboration with STEM Inc and Lakeside Family Services. The project aims to benefit the less privileged children of the Singaporean community by introducing them to the field of engineering and science through a woodcraft modelling workshop. The workshop will be held on 21st and 22nd January 2020 from 13:30 to 18:30 at Lakeside Family Services. During the workshop, participants will learn how to build truss bridge, magnetic car, wand, and catapult along with the engineering principles applied in each models.