BU Students Design Their Way onto WGBH Series
BU students win spots on WGBH’s Design Squad
Ana Pelucarte and Wes Uy are learning how to perform under pressure. The two BU students are contestants on the WGBH series Design Squad, a weekly, half-hour TV show where students compete for a $10,000 scholarship by designing and constructing various engineering projects. Pelucarte (ENG’11) and Uy (MET’11), along with four students from other schools, were chosen to be part of the cast for the show’s next 13-week season, which will air next summer.
“We started filming about two weeks ago,” says Pelucarte, who was born in Venezuela and moved to Miami when she was 13. “The schedule is totally overwhelming, but I’ve learned a lot. The thing I like most about the show is the team I am working with. The other five members are smart and easy to work with.”
Uy, from Stamford, Conn., says it will not only be his first time on camera, but also his first time in this type of an engineering program. “I like the fact that the show presents real challenges that require us to engineer products that our clients can actually use,” Uy says. “None of the building problems or other issues that we encounter are staged. Also, the challenges can all be solved multiple ways. It’s interesting to see how different people approach them different ways.”
Last season’s Design Squad required students to build several projects, including furniture made from recycled cardboard, a new style of hockey net, and go-carts.
Uy says the directors have kept all of this season’s challenges a secret from the cast members. And since all the challenges have a time limit, he notes, the show, now in its third season, is really about testing the engineering students’ abilities to cooperate with their team members and solve problems under the pressure of being on camera.
“I was extremely nervous about the camera factor, but I’ve gotten used to it,” Uy says. “Win or lose the competition, I’m really glad I was able to participate in something like this.”
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