Presentation Annihilation by Sara Espinosa

These past several months have been hectic, but in the end all of the Green Scene Design Team’s work was worth every second. On the morning of our presentation I felt like butterflies were going to explode out of my stomach; I was nervous beyond belief. We rehearsed our presentation a few times, set up the iPads for our judges and set up our board and power point. We weren’t just ready to present simply our power point, but we were ready to present all of the knowledge in our heads about our trailer and systems. It was like an organized brain dump. At first during our presentation I was a bit shaky, but as time progressed I felt all nerves leave me and I felt much more confident. One good aspect of our presentation was that the as a team we rarely said “um” or “like” to start a sentence or fill in any awkward silences, since there were no silences. The day before our presentation we practiced and every single group member struggled with saying “um” much too many times. After practice we had gotten rid of any silences and the presentation flowed smoothly. Our presentation went very well and the judges seemed to love our ideas and designs. We were able to present all of our power point thoroughly, without running into any time issues. During our presentation every group member was able to explain their systems and slides with no hesitation. We were organized and our presentation flowed well. We ran into no complications or technical problems. At the end of our presentation the judges were free to ask questions and each question was answered by the appropriate group member with ease. This presentation went much better than I expected because I was prepared for the worst, yet still hoping for the best. I didn’t want to be disappointed in the presentation, so I practiced a lot. Without this practice I know the presentation would have been worse. All of the Green Scene Design Team was able to contribute and were all present physically and mentally. Some things that I felt I rocked in the presentation were explaining the budget and different aspects of it, explaining insulation, the conclusion, and talking about the different programs (excel and Google SketchUp). One mistake that I made was not making enough eye contact and hand gestures. This problem could have been solved by practicing in front of an audience instead of just in our small group.

On the day of our presentation we had seven judges that had a variety of backgrounds. The judges included: an environmental lawyer, teachers, a landscape architect, a retired engineer, and a STEM educator at the University of Texas. Having so many different judges specializing in so many different things was intimidating and nerve racking because I felt that they would be very harsh and ask questions that I wouldn’t be able to answer. In reality the judges were very nice and seeing them smile at our presentation made things less scary. Some of the judges questions were challenging, but we were very knowledgeable on our topics that we answered these questions with no problem at all. A few examples of questions were, “What is R-value?”, “What is the difference between AC and DC?”, “Why are you using both AC and DC?”, “How are you going to store your solar panels and why do you have it set up the way you do?”. All of their comments were positive such as when they complimented us on our color scheme, our presentation board, and our sample board.

Now that our Project Ventura is finished I have realized there are things that I would want to keep the same and some things that I would change. If I had a second chance at Project Ventura, I would have started and finished SketchUp much earlier. Instead of working on SketchUp the third and fourth month I would have started with it the first month and finished it up over the winter break, so that I would have more time to focus on finding materials and thinking about how to set up the trailer for the interior. Some things I would keep the same is the budget and our green materials.

The most important skills that I have gained through completing this Project Ventura were problem solving, time management, budgeting and researching. The most important knowledge I have gained is about the programs excel and SketchUp and basic knowledge about water, propane and electrical systems. These skills and knowledge are very important to have because it can be applied to the real world and I will need it for my future. What I will remember the most is our presentation board and seeing all of our hard work come together. In the end I loved all of our designs and choices. Something that I do hope to forget is all of the stress, anxiety and late hours it took to reach the final end point.

Overall the Green Scene Design Team’s end product passed our expectation and I’m sad that this project had to end. I felt like a real life engineer at some points and feel like this project gave me plenty of experiences.

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