Media & Content

Reality Redesigned: A Design Competition with a Reality Show Twist

  Larissa Hofman   |     January 23, 2017 |   3 minute read
Reality Redesigned competition hosted by Edge Factor

February 1, 2017. Randolph, NC – Have you ever sat in a classroom and asked the question,”When will I ever use this in real life?!” If you spend time with students, you know that making textbook learning relevant to real-life matters! Edge Factor and Randolph Community College are embarking on an audacious mission to empower students to become makers, challenge parents’ perceptions of manufacturing careers, and inspire the Randolph community to bring ideas to life.

“Industry leaders, teachers, parents… At the heart of many of the challenges they face is the need to be relevant. Everything Edge Factor does directly goes back to helping people be relevant to the next generation,” said Jeremy Bout, Founder of Edge Factor. The storytellers and leading educational developers at Edge Factor are linking arms with Randolph Community College to host a student design competition with a reality show twist called Reality Redesigned. It’s a creative mashup of storytelling meets inventor, “Chopped” meets “Cards against Humanity” meets “Shark Tank”. Reality Redesigned is an unconventional design competition that allows imaginative students to connect with industry and educational mentors and collaboratively design solutions to outrageous scenarios.

“Edge Factor has seen the sparks ignite in students’ eyes when they realize that the STEAM subjects they are learning in school are the gateway to unlocking their futures,” said Joshua Pies, Producer from Edge Factor. “We are partnering with the RCC team to move the needle and do something big… To inspire students, reach parents and provoke a desire to create all across their region. The purpose of this initiative is to serve as a catalyst for students to realize their potential and dream up new solutions.”

On February 1, 2017, the audition phase of Reality Redesigned officially launches online for students to begin unlocking unique problems for their team to solve. Competitors begin by choosing three cards that provide a person, a place, and a challenge. Teams can keep flipping the deck until they get a combination that will inspire a ‘problem story’ for the team to creatively define through their own interpretation.  From there, they will design and present solutions to their problem story by uploading team videos, pictures of drawings, CAD models, planning documents, estimating costs with the Wild-Guestimator, and other innovative ways to share their problem-solving descriptions.

This opportunity has been announced to 15,000+ students in grade 6-12 public and charter schools in Randolph County. Teams can consist of 6 middle or high school students and one mentor that can be a teacher, parent or businessperson.

On the “Day of Reckoning” (3/8/17), student projects lockdown and public voting will begin.  Celebrity Judges will evaluate submissions throughout March and the combination of public votes and judge’s rankings will result in the announcement of the top 3 auditions (3/31/17).  Soon after, the cameras will start rolling! The 3 teams will face-off on a reality TV show filmed at Randolph Community College, where they will be given a real-world challenge, a toolbox of resources and only 84 hours to dream, design, build and get ready to present their ideas. 3D Design, CNC machining, welding, and 3D printing will come alive as ideas flow from their heads to their hands. “Reality Redesigned is a great opportunity for middle and high school students that will directly address the interest gap and skills gap. We are not just going to talk about the gap issue, we are going to do something about it,” said Garrett Parker, Department Head, Computer Integrated Machining at Randolph Community College.

The three teams will present their 84 Hour Challenge creations to the Judges in front of a live audience of their peers. The Judges will go into sequester and the contestants will take a limo to a party with some of the most influential business leaders in the area. Broadcasting live from the ‘Party with the Presidents’, the Judges will make the announcement of the winner of Reality Redesigned: the “Stack your deck” pilot series (4/28/17).

“The Reality Redesigned competition will make learning real for students. It shows students how STEAM is used in real life and how creative problem-solving changes lives,” said Jessica Cutler, Career Development Counsellor, Southwestern Randolph High School. “This design competition is going to give students a unique outlet to let their imaginations run wild – and have the chance to bring those ideas to life! I can’t wait to see what our students come up with.”

The journey begins at

Learn more about how Edge Factor is tackling workforce development and inspiring the next generation of manufacturers. 

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