The “I Think I Can” USA Team

What if the little engine had to compete in extreme ski jumping?

(3/3/18) The Little Engine That Could is an illustrated children’s book that became widely known in the United States after publication in 1930 by Platt & Munk. The story is used to teach children the value of optimism and hard work. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”

Do contemporary children still value hard work and optimism?

Here, a possible new symbol for The Little Engine That Could in its modern incarnation via the Thomas the Train positivity.

But this Thomas the Train engine is not not so sure he can as he stands at starting point of the top of the extreme Ski Jump slope for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Two of his other engine friends watch him.

The little engine that said “I think I can” when confronting a huge mountain. Would he say the same thing if faced with not an uphill battle but a downhill one?

We can acclimate ourselves as to where and when we are via the two signs at the top of the top of the hill of the extreme ski jump. One of the little engines (a yellow and black unit) has the look of cold fear on his face as he stands with his yellow skis (made from small ice-cycle pop sticks) at the top of the extreme slope in front of him. Below him – is a straight piece of N scale railroad track descends at a 45 degree angle. The track ends and there is a huge snow hill and an extreme ski jump that goes off the diorama.

One of the signs has the logo of the Olympics and says 2022 Winter Olympics. The other is a scoreboard at the top of the event, just behind the little engine that is about to speed down the jump.

The idea came to me on a trip to CVS to pick up some Parmesan Cheese for dinner. I happened to find myself in the toy section of the drugstore and looked at three small Thomas the Trane engines in a clear package. The idea immediately hit me to use one of the engines going on a piece of N scale rail up a hill. But what if the real challenge was going down hill rather than uphill? And, what if the little engine was competing in the Extreme Ski Jumping event in the Olympics?

The images of the extreme Ski Jumping event at the 2018 Olympics are fresh in mind. The little orange tent at the top of the area where the various ski teams encouraged each other as they gathered around them before their big jump. In the diorama, two other Thomas the Train engines stand near the competitor engine with the yellow skis ready to go down the extreme slope to the great jump. He doesn’t have a very positive, optimistic look on his face at the coming prospect. Their team is in last place as one can see on the scoreboard above. He looks down at a scarry prospect.

Final project photos below.












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