Global Engagement Experience
Chile Spring 2024

Day 3

Monday, March 4th, 2024

Image 1All set for the first day of classes, we got onto the Metro, excited to meet our classmates at USM (Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria) who we met on zoom a couple months prior. We were all set for our first challenge: building the infamous spaghetti and marshmallow tower. My team and I immediately got to work planning with the clock counting down an hour. Something I noticed was how despite being from different parts of the world and barely speaking each other's languages properly, we were able to apply the same mathematics and physics fundamentals in the design of our tower. From the brief session about Earthquake Engineering earlier, and the buildings we had seen the day before, we knew that building with triangles and trusses was the way to go. Standing tall at 66 centimeters, weighing only 486 grams, and looking perfectly strong, we checked all boxes for a successful tower with only the pitch remaining. While we didn’t have enough time at the end to develop a great pitch, our delegation of tasks and focused work meant that we knew exactly what to talk about.

Image 2Image 3 Even though we didn’t pass the final earthquake test, I’m proud to report that Ingeniando Sueños came in second place! One of the most prominent characteristics about my team was our ability to take on strong situational leadership roles, and really listen to each other and consider each other's ideas. This would help us develop a successful design for our final project. Our design challenge was to design a playground which promoted sustainability and incorporated elements of nature. We knew we wanted our playground to cater to all age groups, but running low on ideas, we decided to venture out into the great city of Santiago to gather more inspiration.

My team and I went to the Sky Costañera– the tallest building in all of South America. Image 4Image 5Image 6 These pictures speak for themselves. It was an absolutely gorgeous view; watching the sunset with my friends made for a truly memorable evening.

Image 7 I noticed how Santiago was filled with green spaces, but one building in particular stood out to me. The glass was covered in this green vine which one of the USM students clarified was called “Trepadora”, which is a type of Enredadera Plant (vine) and is very common all around Chile. The trepadora acts as a shade against the bright sun in the summers by fully covering the surface it grows on, but clears away as weather gets colder, letting in sunlight. It's also a very fast growing and low maintenance plant, which is especially ideal for a dry place like Chile. I knew we had to incorporate this plant into our playground, and that's how the idea for a trepadora shade over the playground was born.