An interdisciplinary team of NSYSU students submitted their proposal “Sea The Future”, presenting the concept of the underwater green factory that won the Best Proposal Award of 2021 China Steel Corporation (CSC) Challenge Camp: Green & Smart Factory of the Future. The team was comprised of Pei-Hsuan Li – a senior student of Chinese Literature, I-Chieh Ko – a junior student of Business Administration, Wen-Chen Tsai – a junior student of Marine Environment and Engineering, and Cheng-Yu Chen and Cheng-Chun Tu – junior students of Materials and Optoelectronic Science.
The NSYSU team submitted “Sea The Future”, a proposal of an underwater green and smart factory of the future, envisioning that in 2050, factories will move underwater and be powered by wind. Their proposed factory is divided into two floors with agricultural produce grown on the upper floor – a highlight of this self-sufficient green & smart factory. Student Tsai leveraged his background in marine engineering to create this creative and practical proposal.
The topic – Green & Smart Factory called for creative proposals from the teams. The participating NSYSU students came from different departments, meeting during a course at Si Wan College inspired their proposals. The team was supervised by Assistant Professor Ming-Jen Yu of Si Wan College and Assistant Professor Shu-Mei Chang of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies. Having joined courses of Si Wan College from his freshman year, the leader of the team, Tu, said that his professional courses generally don’t teach creativity, while the “Creativity and Social Innovation” course nurtured his creative skills, which helped him in his proposal for the 2021 CSC Challenge Camp. “The course at Si Wan College helped me develop the ability to think in different ways,” said Ko. Her divergent thinking skills helped her contribute to the green factory proposal and consider the feasibility of the team’s ideas for a concrete proposal. She had previously studied the course on creative design methods that taught her the concepts of divergent thinking and diversified discussion and contributed to her performance during the camp.
Li said that through interdisciplinary cooperation, the students learned to draw inspiration from diverse backgrounds and collaborate to successfully complete the task. Chen said that the diversity of viewpoints in interdisciplinary cooperation sparks new ideas just as people, society, and the environment intermingle in different ways. He notes that this teamwork was a wonderful experience, with “the Award being the best proof of that”.
Dean of Si Wan College, Professor Dun-Hou Tsai said that Si Wan College launches interdisciplinary courses for students of different colleges and disciplines, nurturing the spirit of creativity and innovation in teamwork for a long term. The courses have gained the acknowledgment of the students and have diverged from the stereotype of general education courses being a source of “easy credits”. He hopes for more diversified general education courses that would expand students’ diverse potential, expand their study path, “let them see farther, and go farther”.