I’m so proud of my group! Our presentation went very well (I think), and I did much better than I expected–I only stumbled on my words a few times, and didn’t mumble (like I tend to do). We were all very enthusiastic and happy to be presenting (if only because DAP was going to be over with shortly), and there were no technical difficulties (a miracle!). For the most part, our presentation seemed relaxed, and we were able to answer most of the judges’ questions clearly, without any issues. In fact, the only problems we encountered were when a couple of the judges got stuck on the issue of the trailer’s water capacity and usage; one was concerned that 15 gallons wouldn’t be enough water to last 2 days, but we were pretty sure that it would seeing that water would only be used for washing hands, dishes, and drinking water–not anything near the average water consumption in a household that includes laundry, dishwashers, showers, and toilets. Something one of the other judges pointed out about our presentation is that, although we were under budget, it was important to invest in quality materials, even if that meant reaching or surpassing the budget. Things like the fabric and foam we were going to get from thrift shops or eBay to “salvage” them, but we now see that although being green and salvaging materials is good for some things, things like the mattresses that people will be sleeping in and cloths that napkins will be made out of are good quality and will last a long time. (Also, one judge was concerned about bedbugs in the foam, but we’re sure we wouldn’t put anything that dingy into the trailer!)
Even if we had the chance to do the presentation over again, I don’t think I would opt for any major changes. I do agree with using more quality materials in certain areas, so maybe we would go back and change that, but otherwise, I think our presentation worked out very well. The judges didn’t have any questions we couldn’t answer (perhaps that was just luck, but it could have been that our presentation covered everything that was necessary for comprehension… or, of course, the judges probably just didn’t know if we had done anything incorrectly).
It feels so good not to have the weight of DAP hovering over me anymore, but I will remember the hard work my team and I put into this project. I’ve learned so much–about trailers, electrical and propane systems, sustainability, green materials, and teamwork. What do I hope to forget as soon as possible? The stress of the last few weeks and the occasional conflict between team members–but these things didn’t take away–in fact, they added to the list of things I’ve learned from this valuable experience. (Now we just wait and hope we get our credit!)