STARTS4Water Academy – when youngsters find solutions for sustainable water management
While the STARTS4Water residencies kick started a few months ago, Academy events are also underway. Academy events are designed to raise awareness, educate and showcase the powerful combination of science, technology and arts and reach out to various publics. At the end of 2021, GLUON and Ohi Pezoume organised Academy events engaging with youngsters.
In November 2021, at the Lab North on the Brussels North Station, GLUON organised a series of 3 workshops under the theme Prototyping water solutions, engaging 15 youngers and 5 coaches during the workshops to imagine solutions for a more sustainable (urban). During the workshop participants were challenged to prototype their own idea making use of the PlugNPlay toolbox (www.plugnplay.gluon.be), 3D printing, laser cutting and virtual reality. Guided by artists and IT experts, through the design thinking process, consisting of brainstorm sessions and technical workshops, the youngster learnt how to transform their idea into a working prototype and the basics of coding. Finally, the participants were challenged to develop a presentation of their prototype in Virtual Reality. More than 50 people attended the final exhibition. The Academy took place in collaboration with collaboration with youth organization asbl Success, the community of Sint-Joost-ten-Node and organization Lab North.
Here are some of their proposed solutions:
ShowerArcade : People easily consume 60 litres of water in a shower. With the ShowerArcade Oualid, Ilyias and Imran came up with a solution for this. They designed a timer and a leaderbord with the highscores of everybody’s shower time. By means of gamification on a screen next to the shower, people are encouraged to take shorter showers and thus save water!
Désalinateur(water desalinator): Farah and Ikram solve the problem of water shortages with a system that measures the value of salt water and purifies it. They coded their M5Stack to measure the levels of salt and minerals in the water. Then they designed a two-filter purifying system to purify salty water to drinkable water with enough healthy minerals. This way, everybody has access to drinkable water!
Smart-Gourde (smart water bottle): How many liters of water one needs depends on the individual. That is why Soufiane and Imrane came up with a drink canister that personalizes the amount of water you should drink. Based on your age, sex, size, weight and the amount of sport you do, the programmed prototype will give you an update about when and how much you should drink.
L’énergie2rue: For bringing more joy in Brussels, Molenbeek installed coloured windmills along the Canal. But what if this project could bring green energy as well? Imad and Yasser designed and coded their version of the windmills using wind, solar and waterpower to generate green energy.
How much “invisible” water do we consume in our daily lives? What different sources, ways of collecting and processing and uses of water do we find on the island of Sifnos then and now? How can art, science and technology raise awareness about the challenge of water management as a resource?
In November again, the UrbanDig Project team, together with other artists, scientists and water experts, organized a series of workshops with teachers and students of the 3rd grade student of Sifnos’ high school. How much “invisible” water do we consume in our daily lives? What different sources, ways of collecting and processing and uses of water do we find on the island of Sifnos then and now? How can art, science and technology raise awareness about the challenge of water management as a resource? Through seminars, sensory mapping activities, creative writing, photography and theater workshops, the students created a collective narrative that touches on the aforementioned questions, while wandering through the parths of Erkeia and the traditional water management infrastructure on the island.
You can have a look into the digital exhibition they have created using the pluggy app that guides you through Sifnos’ hidden water paths through the story of an imaginary personnage and get a snapshot of the seminars in this video.