Today was the Google Games held at the Google offices in Waterloo. It is an annual event where university students compete in teams of 5 in fun challenges such as puzzles and coding problems.

This year’s theme is “out of this world”, so we decided on the brilliant team name: Kickastronauts. Ahead of time, we painted our own t-shirts to really get into the spirit. At the games, the theme was reflected in all the challenges, as well as a really well executed playlist full of music like Gravity, Paranoid Android, Skyfall, etc that I really enjoyed.googlegames2

The day starts bright and early at 9:30 AM, with rounds of trivia, followed by a series of crazy puzzles. These puzzles were an interesting mix of general knowledge, math, problem solving, logic and maybe a little creative inspiration. Our team tackled away at these problems, solved a few and came so close to finishing some (but just lacked a little bit of the aforementioned creative inspiration).

After lunch, it was a “word association” challenge that really got my heart pumping. And then, at last, it was the coding challenge. The problems required thinking and some were tricky, but not all of them needed code to be written. With a time limit of 1.5 hours, and 20 problems, we all definitely felt the pressure.

While the points were being tallied, there was one last special event. It is something that always shows up at an engineering competition… Building a tower with straws and tape. But in our case, it was building a launch pad for a rocket. Amusingly, we learned that small triangles are not the way to go, height matters a lot more than structural stability, and last minute modifications for quick gains are never worth it.

When the points were tallied, we were surprised to hear that we came in first place!! While I am elated at our results, I know that it was a very tight race, and all the teams there showed great efforts.

Thanks Google for a great day, and I can’t wait to play again next year! 🙂

P.S. Special shout out to my kick-ass team mates, Eric, Jason, David, and Matthew !


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