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Celebrating Engineers Week with a Design Thinking Challenge

February 21, 2019

This week is National Engineers Week!  Originally founded in 1951, EWeek is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about careers in engineering.  At LaBella, we look for unique ways to sharpen our skills, rekindle our passion, and educate others.  Having taken the Marshmallow Challenge in 2017, this year we developed our own #designthinking challenge.

 

Titled "Team, Tool, Implement", teams of 3-5 were given a kit of materials.  The task: design a tool that can pick up small objects (mini-marshmallows, Skittles, Hershey Kisses) and transport them to a target 10 feet away.  Each team was given:

 

  • Sticky Notes (1 small, 1 medium, 1 large)

  • Rubber Bands (10 standard)

  • Paper Clips (10 standard)

  • Plotter Paper Caps (2)

  • Stress Balls (1)

  • Medium Binder Clips (4)

  • Pencils (3)

  • Packaging tape

With only thirty minutes, and the requirement to use 5 of the 7 material types, our teams brainstormed, prototyped and built their tools. Then, given 2 minutes, they set about to move as many objects as they could - with Hershey Kisses worth 3 points, Skittles worth 2 points, and mini-marshmallows worth 1 point.

 

Congratulations to Joseph Livecchi, Caitlin Keys, Keenan Buzynski, and Jessica Woughter, who scored 69 points!  As you can see by our gallery, we found some creative uses for some very common materials.  Our Design Thinking committee, which created the challenge, looks for opportunities for our teams to stretch their creative minds, which leads to move innovative and nimble engineering.

 

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