Reflections On Q25’s Innovative Solutions in 190H
As Cohort 25’s first taste of QUEST is two-thirds over, I’d like to take a second to reflect on the amazing projects we’ve worked on so far in 190H. Over the span of just 11 weeks, teams have completed both an atoms-based and bits-based project. While it has been challenging and fast-paced, when I actually pause to look back on what we’ve all accomplished, it’s incredible. At first, when I was introduced to both the atoms-based and bits-based projects, I thought to myself: “If I had a good idea, I would’ve already dropped out and been a millionaire.” But that’s the beauty of QUEST. Throughout our time in 190H, we’ve not only come up with awesome projects, but have also learned tremendous real-life tools that facilitate the process. Brainstorming is more than just throwing down bullet points on a piece of paper, and planning out a project is more than just saying you’ll do it before the deadline.
To be able to say that I’m in the same cohort as some of my peers and that I saw the evolution of their projects firsthand is insane. I’m pretty proud to be a part of Q25 and I wanted to share some of the awesome projects that have been created so far with the rest of the QUEST community.
First off, the atoms-based project: our introduction into the world of QUEST. Here, we were told to create an atoms-based solution to a problem that college students face. The result had to be something physical that you could drop on your foot. Easy enough, right? Well, after watching the atoms-based presentations, you would’ve thought so. Projects ranged from sound-proofing tapestries for dorms, water bottles that track how much you drink, a light-up crosswalk and driving wheel cover that would alert drowsy drivers, and pillows and mattresses designed to wake-up dorm students without waking up their roommates.
Christy Cwieka, a bioengineering major from Team Armstrong Strongarms, said: “Our team developed the Shake N’ Wake, an alarm clock that ensures customers get out of bed as opposed to merely turning off the alarm and waking up at a later time. We created a mattress pad containing a pressure sensor that would tell if the user was still on the mattress even after the alarm went off. This secondary check gives feedback to the alarm and tells it to continue ringing if the user does not get out of bed or if the user does not stay out of their bed for five consecutive minutes. We also created the silent alarm feature by using vibrating disks connected to the pressure sensor so that the user will be woken up by vibration instead of sound and therefore not cause a disturbance for anyone else sleeping in the room.”
Sanjay Tohan, a finance and information systems double major from Team Straight Outta QUEST, describes his team’s product, The Lavaggio. “The Lavaggio is a two-in-one washing and drying machine that washes and dries clothes individually. Like a car mat cleaner at the car wash, you slide your article of clothing through the top, and it comes out of the bottom cleaned and dried. Never again will you have to wait to have a full load ready to just wash one article of clothing.”
In less than 3 weeks after completing our atoms-based projects, Q25 completed and presented our bits-based creations, apps or websites designed as solutions to a problem. I can speak for everyone when I say I never thought I would be able to complete this project in just three weeks during the heat of midterms. However, of course, in typical QUEST fashion, we all not only completed our projects, but exceeded expectations. Here, projects included apps to help users find the most convenient and accessible parking on college campuses, pregnant mothers to monitor their health and pregnancy, and students to organize club activities on campus.
Pranav Khatri, a computer science major from Team QUEST In Peace describes his team’s application. “Our application is aimed at getting people more involved in politics. Initially, users take a survey, which allows our app to find out one’s preferences. These responses and preferences are used to filter articles specifically catered to what they are interested in. Our hope is to increase interest and knowledge of politics and current events.”
Alston Kau, a bioengineering major, helped his team, the QUESTateers, create HotSpots, “an application that allows anyone, from novice to expert bar-goers, to access crucial information about local bars before heading out. Additional features of HotSpots include the crowdedness of the bar, a favorites option, a list of deals for each bar, and a map view.”
Just two-thirds of the way through 190H, QUEST has been an amazing experience thus far. Seeing what some of my peers and even my own group have come up with has been mind-blowing. Seeing how we have determined creative solutions to so many problems and the process that we have used to go about it makes me very optimistic and excited to see what we will accomplish in the future.