Vegetable Challenge

January 21, 2016
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This past weekly innovation challenge involved using different kinds of fruit along with some basic tools to try and make a small boat in water. From previous innovation challenges, my team took the approach to test out our ideas as much as possible to determine the best way to keep not only our boat afloat but the weight as well. We began with many different ideas like hollowing the potato out and using that as our main object to hold the weight and having side struts made of celery to increase the surface area of our boat. Since the tub of water wasn’t ready right away we used the sink in the bathrooms instead to test out our ideas. Quickly our team found that the potato as well as most of the fruits provided didn’t float nearly as well as we had anticipated and our strategy quickly changed. Working together we found that the pepper was the best option and with a similar design as previously mentioned, we designed a pretty good working boat (although it couldn’t hold the weight). Even though we had a nice looking boat, we decided to experiment more. Ultimately it was found that no one was going to be able to build a boat that could hold the weight necessary for the challenge and the main objective was instead to go with the best looking boat overall. Our team didn’t fully get this memo and instead tried our best to keep out boat afloat with the weight in it. As we worked, the fruits provided began to look worse and worse and eventually we settled on the idea of trying to make the boat touch the bottom of the container to make it appear as if it was “floating”. At that point we all realized it would’ve been impossible to make the boat hold the weight but our team still put forth our best effort to make it happen. Even though we were unsuccessful, the project was a great learning experience and our team took full advantage of rapidly prototyping our ideas and testing out as many possible combinations as we could think of.

Winning Reflection - Michael Reader

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