You're a group of budding engineers, tasked with designing a playground for primary school children, that not only challenges them physically, but mentally as well. Where do you start? With the consumers, of course! The consumers in this instance, being the JK - Grade 6 students of Keatsway Public School, and the budding engineers; first year civil engineering students at the University of Waterloo.
Instructed by Professor Rania Al-Hammoud, the first year students met with more than 200 elementary children at Keatsway Public School to brainstorm ideas and refine their designs. In an interview with KWCBC radio, Al-Hammoud said of the process, which began in January; “My students loved it! They told me they got ideas from the school kids that they would never have thought of in a million years.”
In a bid to build "the perfect playground" UW students listened to the wants of their consumers, priced options, and designed a working structure to fit in an area of 360 square metres on a budget of $75,000.
Out of the initial 35 designs shown to the pupils, 10 were showcased to them during a pitch event this week, and the students voted for their favourite playgrounds, narrowing the competition to the following top three:
The Colourful Playground (Stephen Atkinson, Jessica Elias, Navneet Grewal and Kyle Lane)
Welcome to the Jungle (Matthew Bowman, Omar Jessani, Brendan Speiser and Adam Thomson)
The Jungle Jim (Samuel King, Jesse Osmond, Wyatt Poulton and Kevin Shea).
The final design will be voted on by parents and officials at a school event later this year.