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    Summer Sustainability Project - use your brain during lockdown!

    17/06/2020
    You are invited to take part in an exciting MDX project - building a brain from recycled materials!

    This new, exciting project is funded by the MDX Sustainable Campus Initiative, with £1000 awarded to Enactus MDX students to lead on the project. The idea is to design and build the brain from recycled plastic bottles so that it can be proudly displayed as a piece of art on campus, and at events.

    If you would like to be involved in building a giant brain then you are invited to submit preliminary sketches and designs to the project team. The brief outline can be found below, and if you could like further information please email Dr Christopher J Moon c.moon@mdx.ac.uk.

    • Brief for the design

    • Design/draw a giant model brain made from recycled plastic bottles (alternatives considered).
    • The model brain should be transparent so that areas of the brain associated with creativity, empathy, compassion and connectedness to nature can be illuminated with LEDs (see fMRI scans below).
    • The model brain should be designed to be approx. 2m x 2m in size and suitable for mounting on a wheeled stand.
    • The model brain will have an electrical input for the LEDs thus health and safety of the final build should be considered. MDX Health and Safety team will advise on the final design after preliminary designs are submitted.
    • The final brain design is likely to be modular so that the brain can be easily dismantled if necessary to insert/remove the LEDs, etc.
    • Workspace for building the brain will be provided by MDX creative industries department (after the lockdown).

    • The project will suit creative thinkers from art, engineering, psychology, biology, etc. Collaboration is encouraged. For example, you might submit a design and then commission other students to build the final model.
    • The model will serve as a piece of interactive art and showcased at various MDX events in order that students can take photographs e.g. graduation, etc.
    • Timelines

      1. Submit expression of interest to Dr Christopher J Moon c.moon@mdx.ac.uk by July 15th 2020.
      2. Preliminary designs/drawings to be submitted to Dr Christopher J Moon by August 31st 9pm.
      3. Enactus MDX students (mentored by Dr Moon) to shortlist the designs and allocate £200 to the finalist(s).
      4. The winner will be commissioned (or a team comprising different individuals) to finalise the design and build the model by December 2020 or Spring 2021 (date to be agreed after lockdown has ended).
      5. £500 is available to build the model including purchase of suitable LEDs, the wheeled stand, etc. However, the use of recycled materials is encouraged as much as possible.
      6. £300 is available for marketing of the model including a specially designed plaque to tell the story of the design and its interactivity.
    • Figure 1. FMRI scans of the areas of the brain associated with creativity.

    • Figure 2. FMRI scans of the areas of the brain associated with empathy and compassion.

    • Figure 3. FMRI scans of the areas of the brain associated with connectedness to nature.

    • Further information

    • Enactus MDX is a new student society which allows students to work on practical projects with a real social or environmental impact related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. During 2019 Enactus MDX students competed in the regional and national finals of the Enactus competition. Participants in Enactus have the opportunity to participate in training sessions at employer organisations, attend careers fayres with employers and attend the World Cup hosted in different countries across the globe.

      For more information contact out Enactus MDX university advisers Dr Christopher Moon and Amanda Brace. New Enactus team members are needed for the next academic year and Enactus research shows that students that have Enactus on their CV have a much higher application to hire ratio with employers.

      Enactus student brain project leaders:

      • Hanin El-Okla, Project leader.
      • Viktoria Miteva, Project co-ordinator.
      • Christopher Moon, Enactus University Adviser c.moon@mdx.ac.uk
      • Amanda Brace, Enactus University Adviser a.brace.mdx.ac.uk

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