AN eye to suck up space junk and robotic elephant-cross-dog to collect ocean pollution are among Mindarie students’ invention ideas.
Mindarie Primary School’s Year 6 students designed inventions to solve real-world environmental issues in the lead up to National Science Week.
Science teacher Brad Whitaker said small groups of students worked on projects following the science week theme, Future Earth.
“Some of the environmental issues explored include global warming (greenhouse gases), plastic pollution in our oceans, space junk and land waste,” he said.
“Each group constructed a model of their invention using a range of mostly recyclable materials such as cardboard, plastic containers, wood, cork and bottle caps.
“Some groups also used plastic tubing, wire, paper mache, aluminium foil, paint and other materials.”
Mr Whitaker said students developed invention ideas in term one, then turned those ideas into models during science classes in the five weeks leading up to National Science Week in mid-August.
The ideas included Charlie Close’s robotic eye ‘EB’ that could collect space junk.
“It is a giant robotic eye ball which flies through space and sucks up all the space junk through its pupil and then burns it for gas,” Charlie said.
“The main idea of it is to make space tidier and prevent space junk from falling into the Earth, or damaging valuable satellites or space craft.”
Jessie Chaychuk and Jamie Craig designed ‘The Reef Dog’ with a trunk like an elephant, a body like a dog and wheels to move around.
They said it would live underwater, sucking up rubbish which gets crushed into different compartments inside its body and “dissolves” into energy.
The contraption would have sensors and know the difference between seaweed or coral and rubbish.
Other invention ideas included a contraption to fit the rear end of a cow, converting the methane into carbon and hydrogen gas, various robotic vessels and machines to remove plastic from waterways and oceans, and land-based inventions that convert carbon dioxide to carbon and oxygen.
“One group of students has used robotics, computer coding and electric circuitry to develop a model that imitates a working machine with sound, lights and smoke,” Mr Whitaker said.
The group, which included Ahmad Kamali, Evan Monteiro and Josh Appleton designed Mr Eco to convert food scraps into electricity.
“This can help the environment by not having to use coal to make electricity – this can help to stop global warming,” they said.
“Mr Eco has a bin at the base. Inside the bin there is a smoke machine which uses hot water and dry ice to create smoke. Inside the pipe there are a lot of wires that are connected to the LEDs.
“Our product would be great for schools so all the kids can put their organic food scraps in it.”