The Other 90% Challenge

November 2, 2012
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Student Reflection - October 31, 2012

“The Other 90%” weekly innovation challenge was a very eye-opening event, not only because it gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from others, but also because I was made aware of how I can apply my knowledge and skills as an engineer to a real-world situation. During this innovation challenge, my teammates and I had to determine the biggest problem that a country was facing. Then, we had to propose solutions to this problem.

As my team read through the facts about our assigned country, we determined that the biggest problem in our country was pollution of natural resources. Then, we began brainstorming solutions. Although we all identified the biggest problem to be pollution, the ways in which of my teammates and I addressed it were very different, as became obvious through our compilation of ideas: Drawing from our experiences in different fields of engineering (biomedical, electrical, and mechanical), each member of my team had different reasons why pollution was such a big issue and how it could be fixed.

Although it might seem that these different ideas would clash and make it difficult to determine a solution to the problem, the complete opposite was actually true. Having these different perspectives gave my team the opportunity to develop a well-rounded solution to the problem. We were able to address many different aspects of the problem that may not have been addressed had my team not been multidisciplinary. Additionally, collaborating with my teammates allowed me to experience how individuals from different fields can work together in order to develop the best possible solutions.

Although the solutions in this innovation challenge were just meant to be creative and encourage the interaction between peers of different backgrounds, hopefully what I learned from this challenge can one day be implemented in my life when I enter the real world, have the opportunity to work with others, and attempt to solve real-world problems.

Winning Reflection - Elizabeth Kreienkamp

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