CosmicCon might just take your breathe away- if you’re not in a spacesuit. With events that were out of this world, this category re-assured participants that they didn’t worry about their place in the dirt.
With the inception of TechTatva ’16, the new category ‘CosmicCon’ ventured towards its first event, Orbiter. Being held away from the cacophony outside NLH, in AB5, the turnout was lower than expected but the anxiousness of the organizers and participants was palpable.
The initial round comprised of a written test, where questions ranged from general physics and astronomy, to logical reasoning and trivia, with the basic aim being to test the strengths of the concepts of the participants. Event Head, Omkar Kedge, when asked about the rather poor turnout, said, “The overwhelming turnout for the pre-TechTatva Orbiter workshop should have warranted a better attendance for the actual event, but since we mainly targeted astronomy enthusiasts, we are not overly disappointed.”
There were plans to involve the high accuracy space software, Orbiter, to a greater extent in the following rounds, and after an exhilarating first round, this promised to be a cracker of an event.
However, as all the organisers and heads of CosmicCon filed into AB5 for round two, little did they know it would turn out to be a very disappointing day. All plans of getting the software Orbiter into play went down the drain, as only one participant turned up. After waiting for a substantial amount of time, the only contestant was declared the winner by default.
A dejected Omkar Kedge attributed the lack of participation to the supposed difficulty in learning the software and planned to hold workshops as a way to deal with the problem. It only remains to be seen whether such steps would bear any fruits in the future.
Wow Factor was an event that centred on alien abduction, which, while not the most extraordinary idea, gave way to many an intelligent pun and fascinating information about the solar system and extraterrestrial life.
The first round was called ‘Abduction’. Six teams, chosen from the pre-TechTatva workshop, were told that they had been abducted by aliens along with fourteen other Earth species. They were required to prove their intelligence as sentient creatures to prevent themselves from ‘becoming breakfast’. Given fifteen minutes to present their case to the judges, the eager students did not fail to amaze them with their ideas.
When asked about the theme of the event, Event Head, Om Vaghasia, said, “Doctor Who was where the idea initially came from. We noticed that sci-fi shows ignore the evident communication issues with alien life and we wanted to see what it would actually be like if we were to establish contact.”
On day three, six teams had smoke trailing from their pen nibs as they tried to decipher each other’s languages. There were four separate rounds which tested each team’s ability to code their language and also to decipher another team’s codes. The competition went on for over three hours, longer than originally planned, but the contestants did not tire due to the sheer energy and enthusiasm of the organisers.
The event was very well put-together and professionally handled. The concept seemed to have hit the right chord with everyone, judging by the enthusiasm of not just the students, but also the organisers. A fun event, Wow Factor was a great way for participants to not only beguile their time, but learn something new.
Mankind was born on earth. It was never meant to die here.
– Cooper, Interstellar
Space settlement aimed to bring to light various ideas of artificially-created habitats, suitable for human settlement in space. Participants projected their ideas through presentations and, based on their technical feasibility, five teams out of six were chosen to move forward to the second round. The teams pondered over all possibilities including the use of solar energy, the creation of artificial gravity by rotation, and how other basic human needs could be fulfilled.
The second round of Space Settlement consisted of a two-part exam. The first part tested contestants on their knowledge of astronomy and the second part consisted of questions relevant to the models prepared by them in the first round. They were presented with crises related to their models and had to come up with solutions. The judges were impressed with the performance of the students.
This event not only made everyone conscious and guilt-ridden of man-made environmental problems the Earth currently faces, but also highlighted the formidable alternatives that could become unavoidable someday. Rest assured, many left AB5 comforted with the fact that there is still so much more that man could explore.