Ten tables full of junk, 55 students with the objective of changing all that scrap heap into a captivating treasure trove. On Sunday, July 15 the students of the 2018 Business Horizons (BH) class gathered together to create their very own product out of various worn out everyday objects. The production challenge also known as the “junk challenge” is a fast passed, creativity exploration that emphasizes teamwork, problem solving, and imagination.
At the beginning of BH, each student was assigned to an industry to whom each individual would remain a part of the remainder of the week. The concept of the game was simple: create a product as an industry, construct it using junk parts and tape, and sell it. The only rule being the object cannot be used as for its original intended purpose.
David Williamson, the creator and director of the junk challenge asked for each industry to pick two representatives to come to the middle tables and pick two random objects. He continued with asking them to pick two different people and make selection based on how they feel, not how they look. He then proceeded by telling them to pick the heaviest object they find and the lightest. After a few more rounds of this pattern he asked the students to smell items, find something that had absolutely no odor, and something that had a distinct odor. Many of the students were surprised and felt really odd sniffing random stuff on the tables, but as Williamson said “Being plugged into the nose is also crucial when designing a product.”
After the chaotic scenery of choosing the part the students got to work. Around the room you could hear many ideas being brought out and creativity flourishing. Teamwork and collaboration were very vivid among the group of individuals. As each person would grab a part and say “This microwave could be the engine to our personal flying car!” After time was up each student had to pick a spokesperson to go up and try and sell the product to the audience. Uniqueness and creativity were projected throughout each presentation having various inventions, from an ejecting personal flying transportation device to a mini portable hot lunch maker.
That night these nine industries knew what they were going to do with all that junk. They were going to create the framework of an amazing product that they were to polish the rest of the week with the goal to captivate consumers’ minds.