” Participants who have registered for Solution X are requested to assemble at the Drawing Hall ” , I heard someone say this. My friend and me went upstairs where the drawing hall was located. We were the first to enter the so far deserted hall. We quickly found a place for ourselves and settled in.

It was the day when the IEEE branch of our college conducted a symposium. Two days earlier, I had registered for this event “SOLUTIONX” not even knowing what the event is all about 🙂 . The event description just said ” You will be given a problem statement and have to find a solution for it in the given time “. Before registering, we made sure that it is not a technical event like Quiz or something because we don’t want to lose the event badly 😀

The hall was occupied within minutes with around 30 to 35 participants. “OMG ! So many ?”, I thought myself. We were waiting for the event organizers to say something. The front desk had nothing on it except a few bundled packages.”What might be in them? Resistors, Capacitors, Circuit boards or some PCB layouts which they want us to debug ! :-O.No way”,I thought. No sign of question papers either. We were wondering as what this Solution X is ! Few minutes later, the organizers entered the hall. One of them started unpacking the bundle on the front desk and started distributing things to all the participants. These were the things that they gave us –

  • 15 Ice Cream Sticks
  • A Pencil
  • A Glue bottle
  • A Blade
  • A Thread roll
  • 5 Rubber bands

And the Question went like this

” Build a Working model of Ball Launcher capable of throwing a ball of 3cm in diameter . Your time Limit is 1 hour and the model which launches the ball to the maximum distance in the specified direction will be declared winner”

I turned to look at my friends face, but he was already looking at me blank 😀 “Ok, so what to we do now? ” I asked . He shrugged at me. We thought that this is not going to be that difficult and we surely can make something worthy. And all of a sudden I started to act like a Dumb Engineer 🙂 I took out a paper and a pencil and started drawing different designs while every other participant in the room had already started working. My friend asked, “What are you doing mate, why is this necessary ?”. I said “C’mon dude, we are all engineers and we must first get the design right and the rest will be simple”. For the next 20 minutes I was scribbling on the paper and explaining about force, center of gravity, elasticity and I looked up at him 😀 He was furious and frustrated, listening to my useless theories and principles. “Now shut the F**k up and lets get started”, he said. I realized if I speak more,then I’m dead 🙂 haha

We didn’t have much time and so we started. For the next half an hour we were sitting there cutting, knitting, fitting and sticking things. “Time Up”, the organizers shouted. “Ok we are done “,I said my friend as I tied the last knot of our design. We looked around and saw more completed designs. “Ours is not that bad when compared to that fellow’s on the third table” my friend said and placed the model on the table. *bang* Two of the ice cream sticks fell down 😀 We looked at each other and started laughing 😀 😀 We picked it up and did the final sticking. This is what we got out of it.

Every team was asked to operate their design to decide which model was efficient. Every participant brought their model and it was tested with the ball. For the next few minutes all the organizers were running around fetching the ball from all the corners of the room 😀 and it was our turn finally. We placed the plastic ball on the holder and launched it. The ball flew away, but not in the specified direction. We were given another chance and this time we made it correctly. The ball flew in the specified direction covering a considerable distance and it was the 2nd maximum distance of all. WoW we won 2nd prize 😀 . we were happy for that. So atlast some funny engineering has worked out here. Yipeeee..! and We made a hi-five 😀

There were also some more brilliant designs that were made. These were the other designs.