Miner Creativity Challenge: A work in progress

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On February 25, 2024

As we prepare for our second annual Miner Creativity Challenge, we encourage alumni who would like to participate in future challenges to share their ideas and suggestions by completing our survey.

The challenge got off to a great start last year, but in the spirit of continuous improvement and ongoing learning, it’s a work in progress.

This challenge was organized by Kummer Student Programs in partnership with S&T’s Makerspace and the Kummer Center for STEM Education. It created opportunities for S&T students and for local middle school students. The S&T students designed and built a STEM learning toy, which required them to redefine the concepts they’re learning about in classes in fun and engaging ways for a specific audience. That audience was the middle school students, who tested and reviewed the designs, a process during which they became engaged with STEM concepts.

With input and feedback from the middle school students, the teams worked with an S&T faculty or staff mentor as they built their prototypes. Then, in May, the middle school students scored each prototype on engagement, educational content and ease of use. The prototypes were then reviewed by a panel of S&T judges, who scored each on factors ranging from overall construction and safety to clarity of instructions and affordability. Scores from S&T judges and the middle school students were combined to determine winners.

Brendan Crotty, a senior in mechanical engineering, was a member of The Foam Warriors, the team that won the first-place prize in last year’s challenge.

“This was a big learning experience for us because it integrated the human usability factor,” he says. “We were challenged to go beyond designing and building and developing a product that’s marketable. It had to be ergonomic and appealing to a specific market. We had to do budgeting and go through a whole branding process.”

Learn more about last year’s challenge and the winning teams. And be sure to let us know in the survey how you’d like to help us ensure the experience is available to all S&T students in the future.

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On February 25, 2024. Posted in Announcements