The stage was set for a grueling hour-long test on Day 1 of TechTatva’18, as Cosmic Con’s newest event, Invasion, was set to launch. The first round was designed to challenge the contestants’ knowledge of space trivia. As the first hour went by, it felt like the event might be brought to an unfortunate end as the turnout seemed dangerously low, but a last-minute surge of participants helped veer the ship away from disaster. The organisers left the first round feeling satisfied with the results, with event head Saurav Thakre saying, “I’m really happy everything worked out in the end. I can’t wait to show them what we have in store for Round 2”.
Round 2 was where the real challenge began. The contesting teams were given varying hazardous parameters for different planets, and were asked to devise a survival plan for each individual case. This was a test of their intimate knowledge of the cosmos, as well as their ability to creatively apply the same to these alien situations.
The contestants of the top two teams eagerly geared up for the final round. Each team was assigned a planet with different atmospheric and terrestrial specifics. The teams took turns at attempting to manipulate the opposing team’s planet to unsuitable conditions using the wide variety of tools at their disposal. As the round unexpectedly ended in a tie, the event heads decided to settle the score with an unplanned second round. The rules remained the same, and with their eyes firmly on the prize, both teams came back into the game with a renewed energy. The final round involved tons of terraforming and atmospheric alterations, ending with one team defeating the other by a tiny margin. This event brought some heavy-hitting astronomy geeks to the forefront, as they utilised their vast knowledge of the universe.
A treasure hunt of sorts, Constellation Hunt tested its contestants on not just stars, but also on their ability to navigate across campus. 13 teams took part in the event, and each team was given a clue,which led them to a location in MIT where they would find their next lead. The clues were riddles, which were equal parts amusing and challenging, that described a certain building, such as AB5 or NLH. On reaching the location, they would find the next clue, which, when pinned on a map of the campus, would stand for the position of a star. At the end, when all the sites were found, the points on the map led to the formation of a constellation.
The first-years struggled as they weren’t familiar with the names of a couple of places on campus, but help was offered by the organisers in the form of chits that contained hints. The senior students, however, enjoyed the event thoroughly, having known the campus for longer. On speaking to some of the seniors, they responded gleefully saying that they had enjoyed the event a lot, and it was a diversion from the tedious work of Tech Tatva. Although a few first years found the riddles to be too hard to decode, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience before finally giving up.