Greatest Hits Challenge

September 7, 2012
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Student Reflection - September 5, 2012

Participating in the “Greatest Hits” weekly innovation challenge, was a very rewarding experience.  It was the first time that I had participated in this event, and I learned many lessons from it.  I was on a team with an electrical engineer and computer engineer, who were both in a different grade level than me.  As we attempted the four challenges together, it was enlightening to see how we worked together to approach the challenges in order to achieve success.

The first challenge we attempted was building the highest spaghetti tower.  Since we were given only a certain amount of materials, we had to plan our design structure ahead of time.  Since spaghetti is more commonly used as a dinner item than a material for building a tower, it was interesting to see the ideas we had and how we combined our individual ideas to design a tower that held a marshmallow at top.  This challenge taught me how important planning can be.

The next challenges we attempted were the scavenger hunt and the boat made of aluminum foil.  These challenges demonstrated that sometimes simpler is better and that it can be helpful to divide up tasks.  The scavenger hunt did not require all three of our team members, and the quarter boat was found to work best when our structure was not extremely elaborate.  These lessons were informative showing that teamwork sometimes involves dividing tasks and that sometimes the most complex solution is not always the best.

The final challenge entailed building a tower out of Solo, Styrofoam, and Dixie cups with one person blindfolded and the other team members giving instructions.  I was blindfolded and put in charge of building the tower.  Since I was the only one who could touch the cups and stack them in the desired configuration, I learned how important it is to rely on teammates and listen to others.  If I had to build the tower alone while blindfolded, I would not have been as successful.

Overall, the innovation challenge provided me with many lessons concerning teamwork and design.  It was a great experience, and I look forward to the next innovation challenge!

Winning Reflection - Elizabeth Kreienkamp

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