Last summer during brainstorm training at Continuum we did our final round on ways to build a hill for the upcoming Design Squad show (a game show for teenage engineers). Since the episode hadn't started filming yet (alas, they shot about a week after I left) we weren't supposed to talk about it at the time in case one of the contestants would hear. Now that it's out, I can say that they designed "summer sleds" that roll down grassy hills - the end products resemble either toboggans-on-wheels or very low-riding wagons.

I finally watched the episode tonight (episode 13, "Winner Takes All") and the grass hill in the office - they built one inside by the main staircase - looks even better than I'd thought. Continuum is really as cool as it looks, especially after the office renovation - although there isn't incessant screaming, cheering, and camera zooming a-la MTV as per the episode. It's also really weird to see your former coworkers on television. I'm biased, but seeing Continuum people up there was the best part of the whole show for me.

Ok, so I could have done without the incessant pop licks and Really! Upbeat! Cheerfulness! but shows like Design Squad are a step in the right direction towards making engineering cool - and just as important, more transparent - to students. I'm looking forward to seeing where they go. My own documentary* on engineering teams is going to take a less scripted, more reflective approach - it'll be interesting to see how the two compare.

*Yeah, I really need to figure out how to get digital film equipment. I knew microphones were expensive, but sheesh! Any recs for getting budget cameras/lights/microphones/lens/software/etc? I'll need it pretty long-term, a bit over a month (July to mid-August).