Local Legend: Domino Master Emma Renner

“Brains and Brawn”: Chris Wright, Emma Renner and Ben Tardiff.

Photo provided by Emma Renner

“Brains and Brawn”: Chris Wright, Emma Renner and Ben Tardiff.

Emma Renner, who graduated from Woodgrove in 2016, is an engineer who is now competing on Fox’s Domino Masters, where teams compete weekly in themed domino challenges. 

Domino and chain reaction art is a form of art that includes building dominoes or structures that when knocked down, or “toppled,” create a dynamic visual. “I think there’s a lot of beauty in the temporariness. It’s not art where you end up with a tangible project; it’s art that tells a story,” says Renner. 

She grew up with an interest in math and science and says, “My dad used to tell me that scientists figure out what the problem is and engineers solve them. I really wanted to help solve those problems.” Renner received her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master in Systems Engineering from Cornell University. She explains how her education aided her in the show saying, “Systems Engineering helped me as I really made sure we focused on the planning because that’s how you have success in the end.” 

Renner and a close friend named Chris Wright had a similar interest in, “bringing fun into a very stressed out community” at Cornell after exams, or as Corellians call them, Prelims. They started a project called, “Anything but prelims,” where they would invite people to enjoy pizza, soda, bagels, and music after Prelims. “We grew close around this shared goal of creativity and fun in a community. He [Chris Wright] taught me how to do dominoes, and we had a whole domino bootcamp… he was initially contacted for the show and asked me to be a part of it, to be on his team.” 

Hosted by Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet, Domino Masters combines comedy and competition. Airing weekly on Wednesdays at 9 P.M., Domino Masters takes viewers on the nail-biting journey as teams compete to win a cash prize and the grand title of “Domino Masters.” 

Renner’s team, “Brains and Brawn,” won the first round of competition with their baseball themed topple which included a dynamic scoreboard and a stadium full of “fans.” “I just remember pure excitement and hugging my teammates and immediately feeling excited for the next round,” says Renner, reflecting on the win. “Brains and Brawn” has advanced to the quarter finals where they will compete against The “Mechanical Mavericks” and The “Back Breakers.”