Published: Oct. 21, 2015

We all walked into Folsom Field and sat on the bleachers. Then, they took our shoes. What is Engineering
the only major at Boulder that would dare take its students shoes from them? Only Pre-Engineering. Pre-Engineering at CU-Boulder, contrary to popular belief, is just as rigorous as the Engineering program, maybe even more so. However, if you are a prospective student, and are thinking of joining the Pre-Engineering program, do not be scared away from my assertion—for in the program, there is a myriad of resources that can help you get through, and eventually become the engineer that you want to be.

So why were all of our shoes taken? Well, as we all sat there in Folsom Field, we were told that we were going to go through our first test as prospective engineers. They then proceeded to collect one shoe from everyone, creating a giant pile of shoes in the end-zone. They then told us that our challenge was to re-distribute the shoes back to everyone, but only six people could be on the field at a time. This meant that we, as a group, had to come up with some system that would efficiently get the shoes back to their owners. Oh, and we only had eight minutes to do it.

What we ended up doing was assigning six “leaders” who went down onto the field, and organized the shoes based on: right or left, color and open or closed toe. After the shoes had been sorted, the crowd of giddy engineers was then sorted into the same categories, based on the shoe each person lost. Then the re-distribution began. Luckily, I was one of the first to get my shoe, meaning I could then help distribute the shoes back home. The eight minute time limit came ticking to an end, and right as the buzzer was about to go off at zero, the last shoe was administered to its master. We had completed our first challenge as engineers.

As we all calmed down from the challenge, we were praised for our efficiency, and were explained just exactly what the point of stealing 850 shoes served. We were told that this was a good exercise to bring out some of the problem-solving skills that we would need to frequently use in the engineering department. It showed us the virtues of teamwork, efficiency and organization. For our valiant efforts, we were then given a “tool” to help us in the future, a multi-charger. Dismissed, we all filed out of the stadium, still in shell-shock as to whether or not that had really happened. However, proud with ourselves, we all exited together, as one, Pre-Engineering body, ready to face on the year.


Ben Rains
Benjamin Rains