A couple of months ago my business studies teacher, Ms. Winny, approached me about the Asian Science Enterprise Challenge (ASEC). She thought that I would be suitable to join the competition along with two of my friends, Janice Nathalie and Edwin Shawpindo. I was surprised and nervous, but accepted her offer anyway because I thought it would be a good experience.
The competition took place in the Aryaduta Hotel in Lippo Karawaci on May 18th-20th. During those three days, I got to know other students from all over Indonesia who came to join the challenge. There were activities such as games, seminars, a mini challenge, and many others. All of these activities trained us and gave us a glimpse of what the real challenge was going to be.
The real challenge was to be completed in 24 hours, done in groups of six people chosen randomly from different places, so my two friends and I were not together. My group had students from Papua, Kudus, Bogor, and other places from around the country. The challenge was to incorporate biomimicry in creating a sustainable habitat that would help reduce global warming. We had to be original, creative, innovative and realistic at the same time so we could implement our ideas in Indonesia.
The things we had to do in 24 hours involved creating a business plan, making a prototype of our project, and doing a 3-minute presentation to a panel of expert judges afterwards. We were allowed to bring our laptop and use the Internet provided by the hotel.
When we first heard the challenge, my team members and I were worried. We spent hours brainstorming and trying to figure out what to create, and this took the longest time out of the 24 hours. We looked at all the possibilities, searched for advantages and disadvantages, while scratching idea after idea.
Finally after hours of debating, we decided to create an eco-friendly apartment called the Aqua-Techno Tower. This apartment would incorporate biomimicry through the rainwater tank it has at the top of the building, which acts like a cactus that stores water in its body. This tank would reduce the use of water, thus reducing energy use.
The outer part of the building will also be covered in green plants to encourage natural photosynthesis that increases oxygen and decreases carbon dioxide, which would increase the air quality. This greenery would incorporate biomimicry because just like amphibians breathe through their skin, the people in and around our apartment would breathe through the greenery. Another feature in our apartment was the underground water circulation that would act as a natural cooling system to the whole building, which eliminates the need for air conditioners.
We made our prototype with styrofoam and did our business plan, that included planning realistic finances involved in creating this project. The hard part was the presentation, though. My team members were a group of intelligent and insightful students, but giving the 3-minute presentation surprisingly proved to be the biggest challenge for us. We were scared, nervous, and even lost hope for any chance at winning. Nonetheless, we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stopped practicing and when we were finally called for our presentation, we did our best.
Never would I imagine my team (named The Spirit Company) and our simple apartment idea would win 2nd place both in the Indonesian Science Enterprise Challenge and in the Asian Science Enterprise Challenge after the Singaporean team.
I was so happy and surprised because I came in this challenge expecting nothing but an experience. I learned so much about myself and my abilities in this competition. Not only did I find new friends, but I also developed my skills in teamwork, leadership, and perseverance. I feel so thankful for Ms. Winny who chose me to be a part of this amazing experience, she believed in me even when I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
I now truly believe that if we work hard, stay focused and want it enough, with the grace of God we can achieve anything.
Ã‚Â by Elizabeth Elaine Redjo Setyono
IPEKA International Christian School (Y12)