A new program, Kick-Start, has been developed for engineering students (undergraduate and graduate) to request funding to pay for prototyping and/or finishing projects using the services offered through the Creative Space, Engineering Electronic Shop (EES) and the Engineering Machine Shop (EMS). There will be ten $500 awards!! How exciting is that!?
There are a limited number of Kick-Starts to be awarded this year – so this is a competitive process! Make sure you check the Kick-Start webpage to get complete details!
Briefly, any student (graduate or undergraduate) may apply for a Kick-Start award. You come up with an idea, find a faculty or staff sponsor, complete an online application form (available soon), attend an in-person workshop (approximately an hour), and present your project in April!
There are a few requirements which include (but aren’t limited to) keeping receipts and a record of all expenses (a budget spreadsheet template will be be provided). A post-project survey of the Kick-Start program will also be required.
You are strongly encouraged to visit the Hanson Center for Technical Communication for assistance with writing your proposal before it is submitted. We also suggest you fill out a hackaday.io page and use it to post regular, substantial updates on the status of your project. Each update should include photos – of your project, notes or sketches – and text explaining your progress.
There are a few restrictions, one of which is you may not already be receiving funding for this project from any other source. There can only be one idea per submission and a student may only be the primary investigator on one Kick-Start per year. Students may be co-investigators on more than one project. Be sure to check the Kick-Start webpage for more information.
So what else do you need to know?
The idea for the project is yours, and may be a finished product or a prototype. You maintain ownership of your idea and anything you build during the project. For inspiration check out United Nations Global Problems. A team may work on the project together, but one student must be designated as the primary investigator. A primary investigator may be a co-investigator on another project.
You may keep any materials you purchase for your project, but tools purchased should be returned to the Creative Space for use by future makers. This can be a gray area, so please direct any questions about what should be returned to email@example.com. The $500 award may only be used in EES and EMS for materials, tools, and labor, etc. Any unused funds will revert back to the program and will go toward helping another future maker build their idea.
You are required to have a sponsor who will review the requirements of the Kick-Start program and review your application before it is submitted. You will meet with your sponsor a minimum of 3 times during the course of the Kick-Start program. The sponsorship officially ends with the presentation in April, but the sponsor and student are free to continue to work on the project if they so choose.
Remember that ‘failure’ is part of the creative process. The important thing is you learn from these failures and therefore are better prepared for future projects. You will still be required to present your project in April – your presentation can deal with what went wrong, how it could be fixed, what you would do differently, what you learned. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
There are so many resources to help you complete your project! Our Creative Space is a great place to begin! Two collaboration tables, each with a quad-screen monitor will help your team work together to imagine your project. There are 4 modeling stations with Leap Motion controllers, Wacom drawing tablets and the high-powered software you need. 3D cameras, a 4400 Dell computer with a video card, Leap Motion controllers and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset can help you manipulate your project in virtual reality. EES and EMS have the equipment you need to take your project from virtual reality to reality! EES provides circuit board fabrication, dye sublimation printing, PC board prototypes, laser cutting and etching and 3D printing (among other things!). EMS has sheet metal tools, power hand tools, computer controlled machine tools (among other things!) Staff in both EMS and EES are happy to answer questions and provide guidance!
We have the resources and the support needed to help bring your idea to reality! So, what are you waiting for? Kick-Start your project now!!
Here’s video of the new Creative Space Open House!