Fellows at Michigan Technological University are part of the University Innovation Fellows program of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). UIF empowers students to be agents of change on their campuses. Fellows are students who want to make a difference on their campus and in the world. They have the ability and drive to create change so that their peers are being equipped with the skills to compete in the 21st century economy. This includes being the best problem-solvers they can be, identifying opportunities with the potential to greatly benefit our society, and implementing revolutionary ideas.
The Fellows at Michigan Tech have been a driving force in promoting innovation, creativity, and the entrepreneurial mindset on campus. Fellows have created the Alley Makerspace, started #uifresh (an outreach to first year students), taught an after school class for local elementary and middle school students, developed a Summer Youth Programs course for high school students, started Innovation Week, facilitated numerous Design Thinking workshops in the campus community, and have assisted in a various amount of other initiatives throughout the Michigan Tech community.
The Alley Makerspace
The creation of the Alley Makerspace was led by Brad Turner as a UIF initiative at Michigan Tech. A design sprint was held, and Michigan Tech community members were invited to help create a vision for the space. With the input in mind, the space opened October 25, 2016 in the old bowling alley in the basement of the Memorial Union Building with the idea that it is a prototype in itself; it is always adapting to fit the needs of the makers in the space. It exists to create an environment where everyone in the Michigan Tech community is encouraged and supported to make by providing a welcoming space, learning opportunities, a maker network, and resources. The space is open and free to use to all students, faculty, and staff at Michigan Tech. Tools and equipment are available to use for 3D printing, woodworking, electronics, crafting, sewing, and more through donations and sponsorships the space has received.
For the most up to date information on the space, check out its website: makerspace.mtu.edu
Design Thinking Workshops
Fellows at Michigan Tech work to share the methodology of Design Thinking with the
Michigan Tech community in the spirit of innovation. They have done workshops with
many audiences on campus including departments, classes, and student organizations.
Design Thinking is a problem solving method that focuses on the user’s needs, challenging
assumptions, and redefining problems by utilizing methods such as empathy and testing.
Interested in learning more about Design Thinking? Reach out to one of the active Fellows on campus or Mary Raber (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Innovation Week was created 2 years ago by Fellows from the Fall 2016 cohort (Rachel Kolb, Kyle Ludwig, and Adam Weber) to spread the word about innovation and entrepreneurship to the student body. Throughout the week, students at Michigan Tech can learn about innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking by attending workshops, attending presentations from guest speakers, participating in competitions, and various other activities. Be on the lookout every year for this week that you will not want to miss!
Interested in participating next year or just want to learn more? Reach out to one of the active Fellows on campus.
#uifresh (University Innovation Freshmen) started in 2015 as a national initiative for the UIF program. At Michigan Tech, the initiative was led by Fellows from Fall 2014 and Fall 2015 (Magann Dykema, Josh Krugh, and Brad Turner). The mission is to introduce first year student to innovation, design thinking, creativity, and the entrepreneurial mindset the second they get to campus. While introducing the students to the resources available to them, we may spark further interest for their college career.
For more information, check out this article: universityinnovationfellows.org/uifresh
Interested in learning more? Reach out to one of the active Fellows on campus.