Changing the Classroom: Building Student-led Learning

Tufts University, 2012 - $34,000

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (ELP) at Tufts educates undergraduate students in arts, sciences and engineering on the principles of entrepreneurship. Since the ELP started in 2002, over 375 students have completed the minor. But while the program is popular, students enrolled in it currently lack the resources and opportunity to build prototypes and the program has had very few engineering students (1 in 10). The students learn about the business side of entrepreneurship, but rarely move their products beyond paper designs in class.

The goal of this grant is to combine the BotLAB, an on-campus workshop developed by mechanical engineering students with a focus on robotics, with the ELP to create the iLab or inventor's lab. Students from different disciplines will work together to invent and fabricate ideas and then attempt to take them to market by teaming with other students with the necessary expertise. Funding will go toward running competitions and developing a scaffold of curricular and advising assistance to help students productize and commercialize their ideas.