Encouraging creativity in design through student competitions
This paper reports on a student competition in which teams of 4 students were asked to design an egg launching and catching device capable of launching an egg an initial distance of 2 metres without breakage. The design exercise was part of a creativity module in a Systems Engineering course and the objective of the exercise was to illustrate to students how the design process involves trade-offs between sometimes potentially conflicting criteria. Thus, the designs were judged not only on the winning distance but also factored into the total score were points for weight, cost, good appearance and accuracy/repeatability. Anecdotal comments from students indicated an immense enjoyment of the design experience and a full cognisance of the objectives of the competition.