Open Minis: Campus Resources

Invention Bootcamp at Portland State University: An interdiscplinary approach

The Invention Bootcamp is a four-week interdisciplinary program where twenty-five high school students underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are invited to discover and experience the worlds of engineering, innovation, and entrepreneurship in a college setting. The course creates, deploys and tests in the field a new educational approach to inspire future inventors. In addition to teaching STEM skills in a hands-on and collaborative manner, the course presents high school students with role models in the form of undergraduate mentors, instructors, researchers, and guest speakers in class and during field trips. The course thus helps empower them, helps them gain confidence in the classroom, but also experience a foretaste of being a college student. By the end of the pilot course in summer 2016, we asked students if they felt they could be engineers or inventors in the future. A strong majority (91%) agreed they could.

Nathalie Neve, Portland State University
Jacqueline Zhang, Portland State University
Shannon Keith-Marsoun, Portland State University
Rebecca Burfitt, Portland State University

StartR: Bschool accelerator program and beyond

StartR includes workshops, mentoring, advice and access to other resources for early-stage companies. At the conclusion of the program, teams present their pitches at Demo Day, attended by investors, industry experts and the San Diego community. To date the program has been a successful model for teaching lean startup methods but also launching real companies. With a partnership with EvoNexus and other industry groups we have had nine companies get into local incubator programs, gain traction and flourish. In addition, alumni are utilized as mentors to the student groups. The session will instruct and educate other institutions in building a program that partners with the business community to advance invention and innovation in the region and provide highly effective and actionable entrepreneurial education.

Kim Davis-King, University of California-San Diego
Lada Rasochova, University of California-San Diego

Fostering I&E Mindsets in Resource-constrained IHEs: How to do more with less

This Open Mini presents strategies to engage faculty, administrators and students from multiple disciplines in resource-constrained IHEs. Although universities recognize the value of I&E, many work under conditions of financial distress. Because of this, we present the Melting Pot Series as an example on how to achieve I&E objectives and generate impact even with monetary constrains: doing more with less! The Melting Pot Series is an institutionalized program at Universidad del Turabo (a Pathways to Innovation institution) that develops I&E mindsets by (1) awareness, (2) spaces and (3) collaboration. In this Open Mini we describe the Melting Pot initiatives, the outcomes (evidence of impact) and lessons learned. Specifically, we discuss how we accomplished these with no or little funding. This session advances the field by sharing resourceful strategies to engage the university community and create impact.

Alizabeth Sanchez, Universidad del Turabo
Sandra Pedraza, Universidad del Turabo

Lean Collaboration on Campus? A Social Network and Bricolage Approach

Our challenge undoubtedly sounds familiar: how to increase the interdisciplinary collaboration we know drives innovation in the face of the familiar barriers inhabiting traditional university campuses? Of course, an influx of resources or innovative structural changes (e.g., cross listed classes, joint degree programs, etc.) would certainly help, but what can we do if these are not available? Faced with this challenge, we drew on two powerful concepts from management research, social networks and bricolage (creative rearrangement of current resources), to drive collaboration between business and engineering students. We leveraged our own networks to create intersections between two well-established programs that historically ran in parallel on our campus: “capstone” engineering projects and the Holloway Prize business proposal competition. As a result of our efforts, engineering participation in the Holloway competition jumped from 9.2% (2015) to 23.3% (2016) and half of the finalists were engineering & business collaborations.

Andrew Earle, University of New Hampshire
Marc Sedam, University of New Hampshire
May-Win Thein, University of New Hampshire
Kevin Short, University of New Hampshire

Track: Topics in I&E

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