(l. to r.) Drew Halverstadt, Shannon Gray, Christina Chase, Michelle Kim and Caleb Pool. All but Gray are SMU engineering students and she is general manager of WABA Fun. Students are with the winning team, "Octa-Awesome."
October 29, 2013
By Jehadu Abshiro
The Grand Atrium of Caruth Hall was transformed into a construction zone complete with caution tape, hard hats and guide wires over fall break, as five student teams competed to create the prototype for the largest toy in the world.
The winning prototype will be built 120 feet tall, about 11 stories high, in the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. September 2014. The winning team will be given an all expense paid trip to the National Building Museum to participate in the event. The students will also be featured in the Guinness World Records.
“We were looking for an event where one of the main focus[es] is to do something big,” General Manager of WABA Shannon Gray said. “What better way than to build the biggest toy?”
WABA Fun LLC, a company that creates and sells toys, approached SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering with the task as part of the Immersion Design Experiences.
“We knew about Lyle and when we started to mine for schools to partner with, the Innovation Gym came up and it was a perfect fit,” Gray said.
The Immersion Design Experiences, ranging from three to 10 days, is part of the Innovation Gym. IDE requires students to design, fabricate, build and test a prototype that solves their assigned problem. The students then present their solution to a panel of faculty and industry for judging.
“We thought it would be a fun event and students will be challenged in a whimsical way,” Innovation Gym Director Greg Needel said.
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Scenes from the contest.
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