Polytechnic student teams to compete for another $10K in prize money, scholarships in repeat technical design contest

Lauren Schwab, Shaini Wilson & Jakob Kerr present their project to judges at the December 2018 at the Purdue Polytechnic Design & Innovation Challenge

The general public is invited to join Purdue University students, faculty and staff in the Knoy Hall lobby at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, for the next Purdue Polytechnic Design & Innovation Challenge. This competition is the spring semester’s culminating event for students enrolled in TECH 12000 (Design Thinking in Technology) and TECH 22000 (Designing Technology for People) courses, two cornerstones in the Polytechnic’s Design and Innovation Minor.

Student teams compete for more than good grades

In this semester’s competition, teams of students will vie for cash and scholarships applicable to the Polytechnic Design and Innovation Minor. Prize values range from $500 to $5,000, and event attendees will vote to select the “Crowd’s Favorite” new product design.

Purdue Polytechnic Design & Innovation Challenge“The Spring 2019 Design & Innovation Challenge features students in two of our design thinking courses,” said Nathan Mentzer, associate professor of engineering-technology teacher education in the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation at Purdue Polytechnic. “Our first challenge took place in December and resulted in impressive work from our students.”

The winning idea from the TECH 120 teams was a customizable modular prosthetic design that could be 3D-printed, making artificial limbs more affordable. The top TECH 340 product idea incorporated “smart” agriculture irrigation technology and was dubbed the “Smart Sprayer.” The Crowd Favorite was awarded to the designers of the “More Efficient Waste System,” who automated the process of replacing the garbage can liner when the trash is taken out.

“I can’t wait to see what innovative solutions our current students have developed,” Mentzer said.

According to Mentzer, Design Thinking in Technology students will present solutions for open-ended, local problems with local significance, such as Advanced Personalized Learning, the practice of customizing teaching methods to the student’s preferred learning style. Students in Designing Technology for People will present products designed to solve problems for specific user groups, complete with a product prototype.

“The Design & Innovation Challenge also tests our students’ presentation and sales skills,” added Mentzer. “Teams will pitch their problem-solving solutions to judges from the Polytechnic faculty and Purdue Foundry prior to the public show.”

Audience members will decide the winner of the Crowd Favorite award, worth $500 cash to the winning team. Prizes will be awarded at 1:15 p.m. on the day of the competition in the Knoy Hall lobby.

The Purdue Polytechnic Design & Innovation Challenge is sponsored by Autodesk Education and the Purdue Polytechnic Design and Innovation Minor.

About the Design & Innovation Minor

The Design & Innovation Minor is 15 credits, with a core sequence of three courses: TECH 12000 (Design Thinking in Technology), TECH 22000 (Designing Technology for People) and TECH 34000 (Prototyping Technology for People). TECH 22000 is offered in the spring semester and is the next step for students pursuing the minor after TECH 12000. More information can be found online at polytechnic.purdue.edu/degrees/design-and-innovation-minor.

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