“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Experiential learning is one of the best forms of learning. To actually do and implement what you learn offers a far more challenging experience than simply learning the same in a classroom environment and writing a couple of quizzes/assignments and exams. One of the best ways to get experiential learning irrespective of the level is through projects. These projects intend to either have a singular and simple aim while some others are maybe multifaceted and rather complex. But this is not the only reason why such project-based learning and experience is great. It fosters team building and ensures that seniors and juniors are able to discuss and deliberate over their ideas. This ensures that skills like leadership, team management, and interaction of a professional type is achieved even in college.
The executive members of the IEEE NITK Student Branch undertake year-long projects within various domains in an attempt to further our understanding of said domains and possibly contribute to the advancement of the field. Additionally, as part of our Envision program, we mentor first-year students through unique project ideas in different fields, so as to inculcate interest among them and provide them with a starting point to explore their respective fields.
Every year, our projects are put on display at the Annual Project Expo, which was unfortunately canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, in an attempt to keep the practice going, we resolved to conduct the same through the virtual medium. Our website team took on the initiative to set it all up, with project teams providing insights into the working of their projects in the form of detailed blogs, explanatory demo videos, and further reading material for interested readers.
The Expo went live on July 12th at 5 PM. Our hope was that people visiting the site would be able to appreciate the complexity of the projects we had undertaken and the subsequent depth of knowledge we gained from them. We managed to rack up 550+ views within a week, making it a successful endeavor in our eyes.
All the projects listed below can be found on this link – Virtual Expo website.
To give a brief description of some of the projects which were undertaken, as a part of the PistonSIG, we had the Monocopter, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capable of vertical flight with just a single rotating blade, Design and Wind Tunnel Testing of Wind Turbine Blades with Leading Edge Tubercles which focused heavily on analysis and design; the bread and butter of Mechanical engineering, Smart Small Firearms System, a project aimed to solve the issue of rising gun violence across the world, the Robotic Arm Inverse Kinematics focussed on combining the power of data science and machine learning to the field of robotics, Nano Mass Sensor for those who were enthusiastic about nanomaterials and the science and measurement of the very small, a rocket propulsion system which was done in collaboration with ACM NITK and AAC, Column Strengthening in the field of civil engineering.
In the Diode SIG, we had Automated Gun Turret a project in the field of defense incorporating the concept of image processing, Chip Interconnect Modelling, Sonic Eye – which focused on obtaining the power of the visual by means of sound, Stand-alone Solar Inverter with MPPT, Car Automation using TSR, Sound Follower, Blind Assistance using Haptic Feedback – a project with a more humanitarian outlook with the goal to help and improve the lives of the disabled.
In CompSoc we had Tor, Decentralized Social Network, Federated Learning Data Science Platform, CodeShare, Adversarial Reinforcement Learning, Contextual Sarcasm Detection, Parallelizing FFT. These projects intended to further and make progress in fields related to cyber security, reinforcement and other futuristic cum extremely booming fields in the world today.
Finally, Envision is one of IEEE’s greatest activities catering to the first year. It allows first years, who otherwise aren’t allowed to join any technical club to work on and contribute by making rather simple to complex projects in a much shorter time frame. We had Envision projects pertaining to all 3 SIGs – CompSoc, Piston, and Diode. VTOL Aircraft which stands for Vertical TakeOff and Landing; an upcoming and rising form of transportation, Tiles Project, Solenoid Engine a project which offers an alternative to the general electric motors and evaluates the possibility of using the same for electric vehicles, Smart Lock to improve and advance the field of security, Pong Game, Let Me Out, Home Automation, Handwriting Recognition and Replication, Gesture Control Bot, Flame Detection Bot, E-Marketplace, Cleaner Bot, Automated Plant Watering, 2D Mapper. This entire experience was truly delightful and enjoyable for the first years who with their excitement and dedication managed to complete a project in their very first year at college.
To wrap up, we would like to end with a quote – “One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try.” This is the reason why we do what we do. To ensure that what is taught in class can be applied. With the entire COVID situation, we are still unfettered and are already working on project proposals and new ideas which will differ in only one aspect – a greater amount of virtual activity. Nevertheless, we are sure that even this year we will progress at a great pace and complete all our ideas on time thus keeping the flag of IEEE NITK student chapter and NITK Surathkal waving high!