Maddy Garretson
Elementary School Honorable Mention - 2010 Survival Design Challenge
How to Survive an Outdoor Situation

You are in the Stanislaus Forest. You are on a nature hike field trip with your class but you seem to have been separated. You look around, nobody in sight. As panic strikes you remember your backpack! You stick your hands into it, but all you find is a cell phone with no signal, two large rubber bands, some cherry gum, a scarf, a mirror, a nail file, an empty plastic bottle, a spiral-bound notebook, a comb, two pencils and two retractable pens.

You take that cell phone and find an annoying ring tone. You turn up the volume all the way. You hoped someone would hear it, but no. So, you attempt to climb up a tree but it is too high. So, you fill that plastic bottle with rocks and connect it to the scarf. You through it over a branch of the tree and use it to help you climb up. You let the song vibrate through the woods. You leave the cell phone up there and climb down. Then you take the water bottle with just a few rocks inside and put it on a twig in a windy spot. You make paper fins and attach those with the rubber bands. This causes your bottle of rocks to roll in the wind, making noise.

Luckily, your ring tone and rock noise-maker sounds caught the attention of a rescue team. The rescue team is here, and they lead you back to where you belong. You are ready to go back to your hometown, back to a civilized home and school.


*This essay was written by a student as part of an annual contest to promote engineering concepts. It is not the work of an engineer or of an outdoor survivalist. The ideas included represent creativity and ingenuity; however, facts may not be accurate and the actions described may not be the most appropriate in an actual survival situation. Please see the contest announcement for more information.