SLU And Gonzaga Tinker Their Way Through Design And Prototype

By October 15, 2013

Parks College iScholars and Gonzaga University students took on six projects at SLU’s Tinker Camp October 4-6, 2013.  Over the course of two days, students were tasked with creating a design concept, pitching their idea, and presenting the final working prototype. The six projects included a vaccine dispense cooler for developing countries, a system to transport a vaccine dispense cooler for developing countries, an air ventilated laundry hamper for dorm rooms, a weeding device for the elderly, and a five minute small steamer for clothes.

“Tinker camp gave me the opportunity to work and succeed in a real world environment like no other experience I have had,” said Adam O’Neill, iScholar at Parks College. “I will take the satisfaction of building that prototype with me to all of my future projects with, and beyond iScholars.”

Students were given feedback throughout the process from mentors Ken Harris, owner and designer at FredSparks and adjunct professor at SLU’s Parks College; Sean Higgs, mechanical engineer at FredSparks; Kent Ritzel, chief operating officer at FredSparks; Doug Schwaab, adjunct professor at SLU’s Parks College and Ken Herold, architect at ThoughtWare, LLC and adjunct professor at SLU’s Parks College.

“The hardest part of ideation is leaving aside conventional wisdom, and abandoning ideas that are not working,” said Ken Herold. “All of the teams exceeded expectations and learned to focus on a unique solution.”

Tinker Camp was sponsored by the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN). KEEN is a collaboration of 19 universities around the U.S. that strive to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate engineering students. KEEN’s mission is to graduate engineers who will contribute to business success; and in doing so, transform the American workforce.

For more information on innovation and entrepreneurship at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, click here.


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