/How G4 has taught us about the interdisciplinary nature of science

How G4 has taught us about the interdisciplinary nature of science

During the first week of May a very interesting, unique and fascinating project called the Group 4 project took place in DP. Through this event, all group 4 science students were given an opportunity to use their creative and scientific juices to create a survival raft using bamboo and water bottles. Given such a task, one might expect that only the bravehearted designers would take up the challenge; but as we learnt through the process, all the sciences played a vital role in the creation of the rafts. 

From a design and chemistry perspective, we had to apply the concepts of material science to ensure that the materials we used were durable, yet comfortable. Furthermore, the structures we designed had to be such that the rider was stable and could easily balance on the turbulent waters. Each team saw several design ideas, orthographic drawings, and even digital CAD drawings were produced in an attempt to envision the boat before producing it; however, with limited materials, you only had one shot. 

At the same time, the physicists among the team explored ideas of mechanics and aerodynamics to ensure that the boat stayed afloat. For instance, they applied concepts of buoyancy to ensure that the water bottles generated enough force to keep the rider afloat. Meanwhile, they also made considerations for the most aerodynamic shapes, with many teams producing arrow-headed, triangular, and even diamond shaped rafts to minimize the drag.  

Overall, the G4 project was a great experience which broadened our horizon towards the scope of science and engineering. Undergoing such a hardcore process has truly instilled many ATL skills like communication skills, critical thinking skills and collaboration skills in us. This project was also a primary example of how learning outside the classroom and textbooks lead to a fun and informative experience. 

Daman Seth and Angad Kalra DP1