March 2013

  • Implosions Challenge

    March 28, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    Student Reflection - March 27, 2013

    My experience with this week’s Innovation Challenge entitled Implosions, could very easily been just that, a complete inward breakdown. This was my first WIC, and I honestly did not know what to expect. I was definitely excited to work with teammates to complete an assigned task within one hour. Given that my majors in environmental science and international studies have taught me little about structural design or practical physics, I was worried about my potential to contribute to my team. Furthermore, I came into the challenge without having a set team. Working with two strangers can be daunting given the extra pressure of time constraints and the incentive of a monetary prize. Despite my reservations, I decided to give the weekly innovation challenge a try, and I am so glad that I did.

    To start off with, my two teammates, Manuel and Prince were wonderful to work with. After quick introductions, we started discussing possible designs and evaluating them based on practicality. Everyone was given a voice, and all of our input was taken into consideration when we came up with a final design. We then delegated tasks for the building process. Unfortunately, our group did not finish building our structure, so we did not test our model. Yes my group did technically fail the challenge, but I am not walking away a loser. I learned how to communicate with people who were previously strangers. Not only will this help me in the realm of academia, but also in the real world. Specialists from different fields are often brought together to solve a significant problem. If we cannot communicate, then despite the best of intentions and ideas, we limit the scope of what we can accomplish.

    Furthermore, I learned that even if the end result does not work as intended, that the experience can still be valuable. Being able to practice creative problem solving allows you to be prepared for other potential challenges. Even if our structure did not make the cut, this experience was far from an implosion. I liken it to a skyscraper since it helped me establish valuable foundational skills so that I can soar to new heights.

    Winning Reflection - Maya Rao

    Additional Resources

    Leave a Comment

  • Unlimited Garden Opportunities in Limited Urban Spaces Challenge

    March 21, 2013
    Posted by
    Share This

    Student Reflection - March 20, 2013

    In today’s challenge my teammates and I were admittedly a little bit surprised, we looked at each other, and definitely none of us looked like farmers or agricultural experts. An accounting/finance major, I was hoping that my teammates who are actually studying in the College or Arts and Science and in Parks College would have a better idea of what steps should be taken, but seeing the surprise in their eyes my hopes were shut down. This would not be a one-person effort; we would have to pool our knowledge together and work as a team!

    With the supplies that we were given we were supposed to create an indoor prototype of a 3x4 garden using straws, paper, markers, and tape. Knowing that our time was limited we quickly decided to the best of our knowledge what necessities are implied with the words fancy indoor garden. Quickly we decided that irrigation, lighting, and style were all important factors for our potential customers. With these three concepts we were able to create a standard looking greenhouse with many extra perks such as hexagonal 360 degree watering sprinkler system that would be able to collect water from the bottom of the house to avoid waste while dispersing evenly throughout the whole area, and we included lights that would be able to illuminate the whole area, with reflective walls to maximize the lighting inside the chamber while not impacting the lighting in the house, as to not make the garden another uncomfortable and large in-home appliance.

    I believe that although the green idea was incorporated in our project, one piece that we were missing can actually be found in the previous paragraph, “standard looking greenhouse”. Somewhere in our construction we completely forgot about the third concept we needed to incorporate in the garden, style. In the case of this project, although the ideas were there the design was lacking. In order to be innovative, you cannot be standard, and when I saw the winning project, it was in the shape of a bookshelf. This bookshelf style would definitely be a lot more pleasing to the eye.

    I believe that doing this challenge pushes me to be creative and work together with a team, and for me, with every challenge comes a little more ambition, and I hope that one-week these skills and emotions that I gained from these challenges will pay off with a victory in the innovation challenge arena; more importantly I hope, and I know that some day, I will need to think like an innovator, and in truth by practicing at these challenges, someday I will successfully do so, and that day will mark one of my greatest victories.

    Winning Reflection - Matthew Palka

    Additional Resources

     

    Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the RSS Feed

Archive by Date