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An Idea Worth Stealing: Collaborate to Innovate Awards

Collaboration Image800

The Engineer, a publication based in London, has announced a new competition: Collaborate to Innovate (C2i).   As we read through this announcement, it occurred to us that it might be a good idea to replicate this competition within undergraduate engineering programs. We could bring back alumni as judges.

“We’re delighted to announce that entries are now open for Collaborate To Innovate, a brand new and highly prestigious awards competition organised by The Engineer, the UK’s longest running engineering publication. From the biggest and boldest infrastructure projects to the most fundamental technology breakthroughs, effective collaboration is the lifeblood of engineering innovation, and through C2i we will uncover and celebrate some of the UK’s most inspiring, innovative and effective collaborative technology projects.”

Read more.

Boston University’s Undergraduate Inspiration Ambassadors

Josiah Quincy Upper School students and Gretchen Fougere, ENG associate dean for outreach and diversity, who says ENG’s goal is “to broaden and build the pipeline from K-12 schools into engineering.” Photo by Cydney Scott

Expanding the pipeline of high school students interested in engineering is always  a challenge, especially among minority and female students. Yesterday, we came across this article about Boston University’s Inspiration Ambassadors, an idea worth copying.

The Technology Innovation Scholars Program (TISP)…sends ENG undergrads into classrooms as Inspiration Ambassadors to get middle and high school students excited about science and to open their minds to the field as a possible career. Many, as at the Quincy School, are African American or Hispanic, and girls make up roughly half the students.

Read more.

University of Toronto’s Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CEIE)

This state-of-the-art auditorium in the Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship is designed to allow students to work collaboratively in groups and share their findings with the entire class. (Image: Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios)

Here’s a good article that provides an overview of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

The inverted classroom experience will be part of the very fabric of the CEIE, built directly into its Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) rooms…Rather than sitting in rows, students in the CEIE’s TEAL rooms face each other in groups of four to six people. Screens located throughout the room ensure that each student can see information presented by the professor. Screens also allow students to share individual or group work with the class at large. ‘Ultimately it’s designed to make lecture a more interactive, engaging experience.’

Read more.

Gordon Prize Goes to Worcester Polytechnic University

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently presented Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. The honor stems from the school’s creation of  the“WPI Plan,” which gives students ample opportunities throughout their education to tackle authentic problems both in the community and around the world. A recent Donahue Institute evaluation underscored the effectiveness of WPI’s approach in preparing students for future careers. It’s worth noting that the program started in 1970 – kudos to WPI for making a long-term commitment to doing education differently.

Read more here.


New report from the UK addresses engineering education

UK Report2A new report in the United Kingdom by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers proposes a major rethink of the role of that schools and colleges can play in promoting engineering.

The ‘Big Ideas: the future of engineering in schools’ report, supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, focuses on how to insure that engineering has the presence it deserves in the UK school education system.

The report proposes that pupils should be explicitly taught about engineering and the manufactured world as part of existing lessons from primary level upwards.

The report also recommends broadening routes into the engineering profession by promoting flexible entry requirements for engineering degree courses.

You can download a copy of the report from the Royal Academy of Engineering web site here.

Louisiana Tech launches Maker Month: April 14 through May 18

Louisiana Tech has launched Maker Month, a celebration of all things made. “Maker Month recognizes the shared culture of creativity and making things across our campus and our region”, said Kyle Prather, director of The Thingery, Louisiana Tech’s maker space. “This type of cross-disciplinary culture helps to support a thriving innovative and creative culture on campus and throughout our region.”

Read more.

Maker Month is a product of Louisiana Tech’s Innovation Enterprise. You can learn more by visiting their web site here and their Facebook page here.

SIU Designs New Innovation and Sustainability Hub

Leveraging the work of seven Innovation Fellows on campus, Southern Illinois University Carbondale is launching a new Innovation and Sustainability Hub. The project, which is currently in the design phase, represents a collaboration between the Center for Innovation and the Sustainability Office at SIU.  Located in the Student Center and opening during the week of April 4, the Hub will showcase both innovation and sustainability on the SIU campus.

The University Innovation Fellows are working with an undergraduate design class, Design Process and Presentation, to remake the space, which was an old Starbucks location. Read more. SIU has been actively involved in the University Innovation Fellows program since 2013. Read more.

New Innovation Fellows at Wichita State

The two groups of WSU University Innovation Fellows, with Engineering Dean Royce Bowden, center.

Wichita State has added five new Innovation Fellows, which adds to the four Innovation Fellows added last year.  Last year’s group included Wesley Alexis, Austin Crane, Hannah Hund, Kevin Kraus and Saad Syed. This year’s group includes:

  • Jocelyn Galicia, sophomore, business major
  • Jesus Gomez, junior, engineering major
  • LaRissa Lawrie, junior, communication major
  • Michael Schlesinger, sophomore, business major
  • Caylin Wiley, senior, engineering major

You can read more about their plans here.

Colorado School of Mines Leading the World

QS Education, which connects students from all over the world with university programs, just added “mineral and mining engineering” to their categories for rankings.  The top school – beating out those famous schools everyone thinks of right away – is Colorado School of Mines (full ranking list here). The site uses academic and employer reputation and several research-oriented metrics.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Mines – which is a Pathways to Innovation school – has plenty of new initiatives going on to transform their students’ learning experiences. We’re hoping to feature their work in a longer blog post and a Hack of the Week soon – but for now, congratulations!



Missouri S&T recognizes Bonnie Bachman

Bonnie Bachman leads the Pathways to Innovation initiative on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus.  In late February, her colleagues at Missouri S&T recognized Bonnie for her work in developing and teaching entrepreneurship courses and programs.  She received the Experiential Learning Award which “recognizes faculty and staff who go beyond mastering basic skills and knowledge in the application of that material to problem-solving challenges. Their work involves collaboration and reflective learning and allows students to learn in environments that suit their aptitudes.”

Read more about Bonnie’s award here. Experiential learning is at the core of the Missouri S&T mission. You can read more about the University’s focus here.