Implosions Challenge

March 28, 2013
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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

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