In November 2016, the International School of Beijing (ISB) held its first Innovation Expo that gave both old and young innovators a chance to exhibit their creations. In this edition of Blank Canvas, we showcase three projects from the expo as they share what the students are passionate about.
The Rover Project by Grade 10 Bookyu P. and Subin U.
We began this project for the objective of winning the competitions that the robotics club holds every couple of weeks. The challenge, this time, was to design and create a robot that could complete an obstacle course in the least amount of time. We also had to do this within certain restrictions; we could only use 2NXT motors and Lego pieces. We decided to work on a 4-wheel design and give maximum power to the back wheels to push our robot forward. We won the competition.
For the expo, we began to create an improved version that was faster and efficient. We successfully installed a redundancy that allowed the wheel to run even if a gear popped off, and we greatly increased the speed by introducing another motor to the front wheels. But not everything went smoothly, and we had many challenges on improving our older design.
Though I think we are both satisfied with the result, we are not done yet. We want to add a couple more commands to the programming that allows it to go backward, and think of ways to make the finished car lighter. We are both extremely passionate about science and robotics, and we hope to continue doing this for a long time!
Upcycled Fashion by Sunny R., Grade 7
I worked on two projects during the innovation expo: upcycling fashion and Futures Public Radio (FPR). But for this Blank Canvas, I’m focusing on upcycling fashion because I am a budding environmentalist, and I am
frankly shocked at how many tons of clothing are thrown away each year, filling up landfills and taking up resources. I learned that it requires 3 years’ worth of drinking water just to make one cotton T-shirt, so I want to take this knowledge and my love of creating things and combine them together. Upcycling fashion seemed like the perfect thing for me to do.
I believe that if we can make upcycling popular and widely known, we can re-use all of those clothes that are taking up landfills and save the Earth’s resources too. Even though some people think that only “designer” clothing can be fashionable, I see that many of the original pieces that my classmates created are just as fashionable, if not more.
Art 2- Thinking Like an Artist by Heewon L., Grade 10
In this collage, I want to express the academic pressure that students (including myself) living in the modern world have. On the top of photo transfers of standardized tests and college logos, there is a skinny person tied up with a rope upside down, without life. The naked and extremely slim figure expresses how vulnerable the students are, and the red rope is a symbol of how they are strangled by all the pressure.
Finally, the fragments of CD represent the sharp feeling of pressure that always stabs me, but cannot be fullyexpressed in words.
To me, visual art is a way to pull out the ‘gut-feeling’ that I cannot even build up into a proper sentence, and spill it on a canvas, paper, or any other medium. No other art genre allows me to do this, and the fact that I can create and express something out of a mere feeling inside my stomach is very appealing. That is why I choose to take art courses in high school and plan to keep making and studying art in the future.
This article originally appeared on pages 40-41 of beijingkids 2017 February Issue. Download the digital version here.