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Collaborative Sciences Project Engages Grade 11 Students

Collaborative Sciences Project Engages Grade 11 Students
Rohini Salaskar | Subject Area Learning Leader - Science & Design

Sustainable Rubber Manufacturing

Students in grade 11 engaged in the Collaborative Sciences Project (CSP) on Wednesday, 19 June, and Thursday, 20 June. The focus of these days was to explore the intricate processes of rubber making and highlight the significance of sustainability in industrial practices, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) 8, 9, and 12: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

Wednesday morning began with a highly educational visit to a local rubber factory, giving participants an invaluable firsthand look at both the traditional and innovative processes involved in rubber manufacturing. This visit set the stage for the subsequent laboratory activities, allowing participants to directly compare conventional methods and the sustainable practices they would later explore.

The laboratory session on Thursday was meticulously planned, simulating the complete rubber-making process from selecting raw materials to producing the final product, all under the lens of sustainability. The journey began with an insightful session on the significance of sustainable raw material sourcing. Natural rubber from the Hevea brasiliensis tree was chosen for its lower environmental impact compared to synthetic alternatives. In the moulding and finishing stages, using recyclable moulds and water-based treatments further emphasised the commitment to sustainability. These practices demonstrated how every aspect of the production process could be optimised to minimise environmental impact, from the materials used to the treatments applied to the final products.

The Collaborative Science Project Day concluded with a reflection session where participants shared insights and discussed how they could implement these sustainable practices in real-world industrial settings. The combination of the factory visit and hands-on laboratory experience provided a holistic understanding of both the challenges and solutions in sustainable rubber manufacturing. This event successfully demonstrated how academic and industry collaboration can drive innovation and promote sustainable industrial practices, setting a benchmark for future initiatives.