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Student-made "watchdog" in Scienceworks exhibition

An ingenious model "Watch Dog" built by Victoria University engineering students to growl and bark when motion is detected in restricted areas is included in a new exhibition exploring backyard science at Scienceworks Museum.

Students Josh MacKay of Geelong, and Andrew Muscat of Greenvale, designed and built the metre-high Watch Dog as part of their second-year Electrical and Electronic Engineering program. The dog-shaped wooden device features hidden speakers and motion detectors that trigger a low growl that rises in ferocity to frantic yelping if motion is detected within five metres. 

Project coordinator and engineering Senior Lecturer Dr Juan Shi said the device could be used in shops or other places where the public needed to be made aware of restricted areas. 

"The Watch Dog is an example of the University's problem-based learning, an approach that allocates real-life problems to students to help them acquire technical knowledge, as well as skills in problem solving, research and teamwork," she said.

Scienceworks Exhibition Manager Andrew Lewis said the museum's partnership with Victoria University was a great fit since both aimed to inspire people about the value of science.

"Together, both Victoria University and Scienceworks are able to present science and technology careers as an exciting, stimulating and attractive career option."

The Watchdog is one of 18 interactive exhibits included in Amazing Backyard Adventures, an exhibition exploring the wonders of science in the humble backyard.

The two engineering students will be at Scienceworks on Thursday 5 May to hand over the Watchdog for the exhibition, which runs until 24 July.

Who: VU and Scienceworks representatives with Watchdog engineering project

When: Thursday 5 May 2011

Time: 10.30am

Where: Scienceworks Museum, Spotswood (meet at reception)

Media Contact:
Ann Marie Angebrandt, Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919-5487 or Mobile: 0403 556 001
email:
annmarie.angebrandt@vu.edu.au

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