12 teams came to compete at the Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace in Towson, MD. This season teams are an exclusive group of talented and gifted college students from around the country. With majors ranging from Architecture to Electrical Engineering to Interactive Arts, the teams all had the same goal…. To create and design a brand new product in 48 hours.
Meet The Frozen Engineers from Michigan Technological University. Patrick, Michael, Rachel and Ryan have competed before, with past experiences at companies such as; Disney, Oshkosh Corporation, Mercury Marine and SpaceX. The engineering team looks back on their experience at Make48.
What made you want to be a part of Make48?
- At Michigan Tech, we had a chance to compete in our Consumer Products Challenge as a team. It was during this competition we learned about Make48 and thought it would be fun to participate. We placed high enough during our campus competition and we were invited to apply for Make48 to represent Michigan Tech.
What was it like working as a team? Was it what you expected?
- Since Make48 was not the first time we had worked as a team, things went the way we anticipated. Each member has their strengths and we tried to play to each person. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses on a team is important so it was nice to have that experience going into Make48.
How did you go about putting your team together?
- When the Consumer Products Challenge was advertised at Michigan Tech, we all had known each other through classes and student organizations. We looked for different people to create a well-balanced team and that’s how we all ended up working together and competing in multiple events.
What advantages did each of you bring to the team?
- Each of us brought different strengths to the team. Having a diverse background was important to us. Ryan studied Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Technical Theatre. Rachel also studied Mechanical Engineering. Michael is currently studying Materials Engineering and Patrick duel majored in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering with an Aerospace Minor. Bringing together experiences at companies like Disney, Oshkosh Corporation, Mercury Marine and SpaceX brought many advantages to our team.
What was the most difficult part about the competition and what came easier?
- The most difficult part about Make48 was definitely the time constraint. Bringing a new idea from conception through prototyping and pitching all within 48 hours is crazy but a lot of fun. The biggest setbacks for our team was coming up with a great idea just to learn that it already exists and has been patented. For our team, the easiest thing was to keep pushing forward even when we felt defeated by setbacks.
What did you learn from the Make48 event? Looking back, anything you would’ve done different?
- As a team we learned a lot during the Make48 event. Time management is a big one in any competition like this where the clock is constantly clicking down. Remembering to not get discouraged when it seems like you run out of ideas is also a good takeaway.
Looking back, anything you would’ve done different?
- Trying to stick with a single idea and just run with it probably would have benefited our team. We spent a lot of time turning down brainstorms and going back to the drawing board in the beginning. Looking back, we would also try to focus on the development of the product and take on more of a business focus. We as engineers went straight to the technical side of things instead of building up a business case.
Overall what was the best past of the Make48 experience?
- Getting to meet all the other participants was by far the best part of the Make48 experience. There were so many great teams and really smart students. We look forward to seeing all of them compete in Season 3 and see what we missed while we were focused on our own project.