My name is Thomas PICHON, I am in class 1SE2, European maths section. I am part of a group of three, composed by two other students, initially Justine DESTAILLEUR and Valentina FLECHAS. But following the sudden departure of Justine DESTAILLEUR, she was later replaced by Hélycia CHANSAVANG, also of 1SE2. But, she went from S-SI to S-SVT. The subject of our TPE is “Biomimicry: The spider web in architecture”. To study this subject, we decided to exploit the construction of l’ Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, in Argentina. Therefore, our problematic is: “Is the structure of this stadium actually stronger than that of another stadium and if so, how?”
Following the formation of the groups, we had to choose a theme as well as a problematic. The whole group was attracted by Biomimicry, however, we were obliged to find a it precise subject to study. Our first choice was geckos, but we quickly realized that this project was out of reach. It was not very accessible in terms of experiments. After some research, we came across the stadium l’ Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, in Argentina, which is inspired by the structure of the spider web. Straight away, my partners and i wanted to work on biomimicry and the spider web. I did a lot research on the spider, its web and the stadium in order to be able to achieve a successful plan and finalize the problematic. We then grouped our research done online, to have available and accessible resources. It was then necessary to establish the process and our experiments. He is what we did: First we explained the mechanisms involved in the making of spider webs, then, we used our experiments to compare the different types of structures, in order to apply these results to the last part, that is on the stadium itself. We have therefore demonstrated using an experimental approach that our hypotheses is conclusive.
For my part, I chose this problematic and this subject with my group, firstly because this topic pleased the entire group from the very start. I also chose biomimicry because, in my opinion, it fits perfectly with the spirit of TPEs. It requires life and earth science to explain the biological mechanisms, and Physics-Chemistry especially when we study the construction of Stadium. I found the subject of spider webs in architecture particularly relevant, because, it is a challenge to develop minimalist structures. The research that I carried out was done online for the major part (refer to mediagraphy), I also asked questions to our supervisors (Mr. NASSIET and Mrs. ROSSIGNOL) who always knew how to find an answer to my questions. This forced me to perfect my research techniques, mostly done on the Internet. We opted for Google Drive to edit the written part, indeed this software is equipped with a simultaneous writing function that permits the different members of the group to share ideas all at once.
I also had to apply myself to weave the webs. Not being very skilled, this required a great concentration from my part.
In my contribution we can note the suggestions of use of Google Drive and Mesurim instead of naked eye observations. I also want to note my absence during three sessions because of cross UNSS and the flu.
My teammates and I were forced to question ourselves and our work, but also change direction twice. The first time, we had to change the problematic because the one previously formulated did not allow us to provide a TPE with enough content. Then, following a suggestion by M.NASSIET we decided to completely redo and review our experiments, because they were criticized from a scientific and rigorous point of view. Indeed, they varied a lot of the results.
I think I can say that the conclusion answers the problematic, even if it has some limitations. It is difficult to study the stadium because we did not have a detailed access to the information on it’s construction, and as stated previously the experiments also have their limits.
Personally, I quite appreciated the TPE, it allowed me to consider group work in a different manner. I am not a fan of group work, I had to learn to work as a team. And I must say that I’m not disappointed, and that is partly thanks to my teammates who remained serious, in a good mood and showed an exemplary implication. These TPEs will remain a rewarding experience for me.