Junk War competition

Students test engineering and design skills at club event

On Nov. 16, the semi-annual Junk Wars took place in Kretchmar Hall, challenging students to create a sculpture from broken pieces of technology and general scrap materials and create a unique new design in the theme of communications. This is an event organized by Product Design and American Society of Mechanical Engineers clubs. By testing the students' imagination, this challenge aims to expand students' horizons of what they can create.

This year's goal for participating student teams was to create something that conveyed communication. President of Walla Wallas Computer Science club Joshua Guzman, a mechanical engineer said, “There were a lot of interesting designs this year, including a satellite and receiver, a carrier pigeon, and a futuristic pair of headphones that the students made.” 

The contestants used materials provided from the automotive, engineering, and product design departments. The materials consisted of a mixture of scrap material such as plastic stirring straws, old circuit boards, wires, modeling clay, bicycle handlebars, an old telephone, and other bits of leftover material. 

Each team had an hour to create their sculpture design and present it to a panel of judges with different backgrounds and experiences to provide a well-rounded decision. This year's winning team was composed of Caidyn Boyd, a global communications major; Elliott Jin, a product design major; and Lydia Fortune, a product design major. The team’s sculpture resembled a bird or carrier pigeon, an ancient form of communication. 

Rika Hinshaw, senior product design major and president of the product design club, says, “In the future I would love to see Junk Wars become an event more people outside of our programs came to. It's a really outsider-friendly activity to get to know the engineers and designers better and better understand what our majors are about in an informal context.” 

Learn more about studying product design or engineering at wallawalla.edu/academics/areas-of-study/engineering.


Three students from winning team show off their bird sculpture.
Participating students display sculptures inspired by communication.