Make Your Own Campus
Held on Day 1 of TechTatva’18, Make Your Own Campus brought in a slew of students eager to unleash their inner Bob The Builder. They seemed excited at the prospect of planning a campus layout catering to their wildest whims and fancies. This fledgeling event saw an impressive turnout of about 15 teams, with participants across all years.
In round 1, the participants worked in groups of 2 to chalk out their dream campus, using the given maps of MIT. Once the blueprints were laid, the teams had to buy buildings—both academic and recreational—to place around the campus. For this purpose, they were provided with a fake currency. Blocks, cardboard bits, and bottle caps served to recreate buildings. They also had to place faculty and students in the campus, avoiding the overcrowding of any region. Participants utilised their freedom to the max, with many layouts flaunting cafeterias right outside their hostels. Teams were also given the option to take interest-free loans and invest in the stock market, run by a simulation that randomised loss and gain percentages. The unpredictability of the software lent an air of suspense to the competition, leaving participants waiting with bated breath to see how they fared.
The event may have been slightly complex to navigate around, but the event heads were constantly on hand, and patiently guided participants in the right direction. Round 2 was all about bringing the layouts to life. Qualified teams now had to construct the buildings they had positioned in round 1, while also sticking to a budget. To help them along, they received data that outlined the different methods of construction, prices and carbon footprints of building materials, and eco-friendly alternatives.
When asked what skills they were trying to encourage with the multifarious nature of the competition, event head Gaurav said that the plan was to test participants’ knack for urban planning and financial management, two of the most sought-after skills in the building and planning industry. Overall, this amalgamation of engineering and economics truly hit the nail in creating a fun-filled educational event. Participants said they looked forward to it next year as well.
Abhijit Shera Rajanish
Constructure’s ‘Conkreation’ was a platform for participants to showcase their practical skills, by building gravity dams. The turnout was impressive, with contestants, grouped in teams of two, eager to build their dams. Each team was given a piece of plywood, 3 kilograms of cement, 9 kilograms of sand, a trowel, and some water to make their dam. Anmol Singhal, an event head, said, “For the past two years, our event has featured in the Times of India, and I hope it will happen again this year as well,” when asked about the event.
The first round had the participants designing the dam, laying the bricks, and then cementing them together. In the second round, the contestants mixed sand and water to make plaster, which they applied onto the walls of their dams. After plastering, the dams were left to dry for about 24 hours to gain strength. “The height and weight of the dam and its ability to resist sliding against a water current, are important factors of a gravity dam”, explained Mihika Saxena, an organiser.
During the finals, the judges, comprising the faculty of the Civil Engineering department, inspected the dams. The dams were tested in a channel for their holding capacity. “Water is pumped from an overhead tank into the specialised channel in which the dams are kept. After a point, the dam slides. Thus, the more water the dam can hold, the better its strength”, explained Ashika, a category head. Madhurendra Prasad, a 4th-year student, aptly summarised Conkreation saying, “Overall, the event was excellent, and the organisers worked hard for it. Win or lose, I had a great experience.”
Fire Escape made its TechTatva debut on Day 2 in NLH 205. The event, organised by Constructure, revolved around planning a rescue operation for citizens caught in a building fire. It started with a few participants, but organisers actively drew in a larger crowd as the time passed.
Round 1 consisted of three stages: MCQ, visual, and a rapid-fire round. Following the MCQ round, teams were allotted team numbers based on their performance in the quiz. In the visual round, participants had to identify various fire safety symbols and illustrations. Things began to heat up in the rapid-fire round, as the lack of negative marking drove the teams to answer as many questions as possible, without the fear of losing points. All three stages aimed to put their fire safety know-how to the test, by presenting various real-life situations. The interesting, albeit complex rules gave it an interesting game-show feel.
Out of the initial 14 teams, a total of six made the cut and progressed to the final round. In this round, the teams had to place fire safety equipment on the blueprint of a mall to facilitate swift and easy fire extinguishment and evacuation. They then had to place groups of people—families, couples, the elderly—around places of prominence in the mall, like shops, gaming centres, and pharmacies.
People could be saved if they were within a certain radius of the fire equipment. The next segment revealed that the wine store had caught fire, followed by two other locations. Depending on the number of civilians that had been placed in and around the affected areas, the death toll was determined for each team. The team with the lowest casualty was declared the winner. Finalist Sudhashree Sinha said she enjoyed having her analytical skills put under fire, and that the event was unlike any she had attended before. Several other participants seemed to share this sentiment as they expected to see this event make a comeback next year.
Hydraulic Bridge, an efficiently conducted and self-explanatory event, had participants grouped into teams of two, as they tried to design a hydraulic bridge as per the organisers’ requirements. It was a single-round event, though attendees of the corresponding pre-TechTatva workshop held an advantage over the others.
Arrangements were made for 12 teams with a maximum limit of 15. The event saw a good turnout, with most of the spots taken by the time it started. A complete set of a school’s quintessential craft requirements awaited the participants, and it was truly incredible to watch as they were embellished to suit the purpose. With ice cream sticks, syringes, plastic and IV tubes among others, piecing them together with a glue gun proved to be an arduous task.
A maximum size limit had already been chalked out, and a sample Hydraulic Bridge modelled on London’s Tower Bridge was in place. Everyone got started after a briefing by the organisers. Some teams got the hang of glueing the sticks together faster than others. However, by the end of the 3-hour event, most teams produced decent models irrespective of any pre-TechTatva advantage. Although some teams submitted incomplete bridges, everyone’s efforts were appreciated and bore fruit. Participants were content with the organisation of the event and hoped to attend again in the coming years.