Engineering and Toyota representatives with a group of kids with certificates

Toyota Hawaiʻi Dream Car Art Contest winners

When Toyota Hawaiʻi announced the winners of their sixth annual Dream Car Art Contest on April 22 they came up with an extra surprise thanks to a creative partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering.

The Dream Car Art Contest aims to encourage and inspire creativity in children, ages 15 and younger, all over the world by inviting them to draw their dream cars. Children shared their ideas about the future of mobility.

Their creativity was something that contest judge Justin Cruz found impressive. “The ideas are great, the thoughts are just extraordinary, from a car that picks up trash to a car that frees whales.”

UH College of Engineering Interim Dean H. Ronald Riggs echoed that sentiment. “The best engineering is when you think outside the box and come up with new solutions.”

student creating a 3D model of a car

Creating 3D models

Printing winning 3D models

It was out of the box thinking that gave Toyota Hawaiʻi the idea to add another level of excitement for contestants by teaming up with the College of Engineering. “[Toyota] asked us to take the 2D drawings that their prizewinners submitted and create what’s called a 3D CAD file that allows us to print it out on a 3D printer,” said said UH iLab manager Robert Nakata. “With some artistic interpretation, our engineering students were able to create those files in our iLab and print tangible 3D models for the winner in each category.”

Toyota Hawaiʻi Marketing Manager Ryan Matsumoto noted, “Seeing the kids’ reaction to their cars was amazing and they were really happy when we presented them with the 3D models. They looked really great. Hopefully we can continue this partnership in the future.”

“As engineering students, we want to encourage the next generation of kids to pursue STEM, so I think this was a great opportunity,” said Nakata.

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