Bandung – Students and teachers from Waibakul Christian Senior High School, Central Sumba, had the opportunity to visit FMAE TB for training on making a solar water distillation, or solar still, on August 28–September 2, 2023. Solar still serves as a tool that can process salty or dirty water into clean water using solar energy. In addition to designing the solar still, the students from Central Sumba also visited a number of laboratories and gained experience with the atmosphere of higher education to increase learning motivation through every activity they do at ITB. They received this visit as a form of appreciation for winning first place in the Solar Still Making Competition at Waibakul Christian  Senior High School. The competition was held in Central Sumba by the Faculty of Engineering and Technology ITB, represented by three lecturers of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology ITB, Poetro Sambegoro, Ph.D., Dr.Eng. Firman Bagja Juangsa, S.T., M.T., and Gea Fardias Mu’min, S.T., M.T., in June 2023 as a series of FTMD Community Service activities funded by LPPM ITB.

Previously, this activity was a form of community service initiated by FMAE ITB in the previous year to help the people of Central Sumba overcome the problem of clean water scarcity. However, the results of the evaluation of the activity stated that the enthusiasm of the community decreased over time. This year, FMAE ITB visited Central Sumba again to organize training for students of Waibakul Christian  Senior High School for three months. This was done to restore the community’s enthusiasm for solar stills and other appropriate technologies. According to them, educational institutions can be the gateway to many problems on this island. Hopefully, all forms of demonstrations, training, and education carried out in general can give confidence to the people of Central Sumba to use this technology.

In mid-June 2023, the final activity and assessment of the competition were held over a series of activities for three months. In the competition organized, Waibakul Christian Senior High School students were aimed at being creative and making their own solar still by adjusting the materials available there. “Because the target is not to create a solar still for optimum production, but to create a tool that is cheap and can be made by the surrounding community,”said Dr. Firman Bagja Juangsa, S.T., M.T.

Of the five groups formed at Waibakul Christian High School, one group of five was chosen as the champion, namely Yohana Rambu Tagu Pati, Putry Lestari Rambu Hawejur, Natasya Rambu Kareri Toga, Kendy Rambu Podu Huatu, and Anggarius Umbu Karaha. The group was selected through an assessment process set by FMAE ITB. The group that won first place then got the opportunity to visit ITB.

The routine activity of five Waibakul Christian High School students at ITB is to design a solar still, guided and mentored by Mechanical Engineering students coordinated by Mechanical Enginaring Association. The solar still made this time is more optimized with a variety of materials and equipment, different from the one they designed while in Central Sumba. In addition, they were invited to tour the laboratories at ITB to activate their interests, including the Fuel Motor and Propulsion System Lab (LMBPS), Thermal Energy Lab, Refrigeration Engineering Lab, Metallurgy and Material Engineering Lab, Fluid Mechanics Lab, Flight Control System’s Rapid Prototyping Workshop (fcsRaptor), Electric Vehicle Workshop, SITH Laboratory, and Air Measurement Laboratory.

During this visit, the students were also provided with information on student admissions and various pathways and opportunities to enter ITB provided by the Directorate of Education. Through this socialization activity, Waibakul Christian Senior High School students are very interested in continuing their studies at ITB, and they are also very proud to be able to represent their school in their visit to ITB.

In interviews with five students from Waibakul Christian High School, they shared their impressions, messages, and hopes for the future.

“I want the relationship with ITB to continue; the cooperation should not stop. I hope students from Waibakul Christian High School Can be one of the ITB students,” said one of the students.

“Hopefully one day Waibakul Christian  Senior High School students or the people of NTT can be born a figure who is useful for society, of course through ITB,”, added Melkianus Katanga Malli, a physics teacher who is the supervisor of the activity as well as a companion from Waibakul Christian High School.

In his note, Gea Fardias Mu’min, S.T., M.T., conveyed the hope of this community service activity.

“Through this activity, we hope to help the people of Central Sumba overcome the scarcity of clean water.

If not, at least we can help show alternative appropriate technology that can be done by the community themselves.

If not, at least we can motivate the young people of Central Sumba to think critically.

If not, at least we have shown the way to a better future by providing exposure to higher education.

Our hope is that we can make a contribution no matter how small.”


Translated by Bachtiar Jalu Prakasa