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Development and Assessment of an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Sophomore Engineering Students

One of the main critiques of innovation and entrepreneurship programs within engineering schools is that they reach students too late in their undergraduate careers to have a profound impact. In this study, we explored the engagement of sophomore engineers in innovation and entrepreneurship through a three-day, extracurricular boot camp. The camp focused on developing solutions to grand challenges, as outlined on the National Academy of Engineering website. Students received instruction in innovation and entrepreneurship and participated in activities to develop these skills. Teams also pitched newly developed ideas to a panel of industry and academic professionals with entrepreneurship experience. To assess the effectiveness of the camp, participants received pre and post surveys that measured their understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship concepts. Students also created maps of the product design process both before and after the camp to assess gains in their understanding of this process.

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