Drexel student group prepares for Disney contest's finals

A group of Drexel University students will travel to Glendale, California, to present their train idea for Sydney, Australia (left) in the Imaginations design contest.
A group of Drexel University students will travel to Glendale, California, to present their train idea for Sydney, Australia (left) in the Imaginations design contest. | Courtesy of Drexel University

Four Drexel University students soon will head to Glendale, California, to present their idea for a Disney-themed transportation system in Sydney, Australia, as part of Disney's Imaginations design contest, the university recently said.

Justin Petronglo, John VanZelst, Bader Al Moulah and Ahmad Jamal, all undergraduate engineering majors at the university, entered the competition to develop a “transportation system of the future” in Sydney.

The group's idea, called Woollahra, which is the Aboriginal word for “meeting ground,” connects four districts in the city through a campfire storytelling theme on trains.

“The main inspiration for the design is this idea of the campfire as the ultimate symbol of storytelling,” Petronglo said. “Throughout time, people have gathered around the campfire to share their culture and stories of their lives. Woollahra is intended to be an interactive train experience that connects people from all over the city at a central meeting place where they share their own stories.”

The team will soon head to California to present their idea and design before a Disney panel. The group is one of six finalists in the competition, and the winners take home a $3,000 cash prize and the opportunity to intern at Walt Disney Imagineering. Judging will take place Jan. 26-30.

“We’re excited to get to the finals,” Petronglo said. “We spent a lot of time finding an idea that all of us were passionate about and excited to bring to life. We all wanted to develop an attraction that we would be interested in experiencing ourselves.”

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