Apr 23, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Inventors are everywhere. The world is filled with people who are obsessed with identifying solvable problems and developing tools, technologies, and innovations to tackle them.
Students can find some of Tech’s most passionate inventors in Clough Commons this Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Idea to Prototype (I2P) showcase. Student inventors across campus will showcase more than 30 unique inventions with application to real-world problems.
The showcase is the culmination of the I2P course, where undergraduate students spend a semester creating a functional prototype of their invention idea. Students earn research credit for the course, in addition to receiving financial support and faculty mentorship. The program began three years ago through CREATE-X, a faculty-led campus program devoted to instilling entrepreneurial confidence in students.
Craig Forest is an associate professor of bioengineering in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, and associate director of CREATE-X and director of Idea to Prototype.
“I2P provides explicit endorsement of students’ inventions in the form of course credit, money, and mentorship — all with the aim of helping students transform their ideas into working prototypes,” said Forest. “It’s an undergraduate research course in which students get to focus on the problems that interest them and develop their own solutions by their own design.”
The showcase on Wednesday will highlight the talent and hard work of students who participated in I2P throughout the spring semester.
“Any inventor working long hours into the night dreams of being able to show their invention to the world,” remarked Forest. “Similarly, the public wants to know about new technologies. I2P brings these two groups together — inventors who want to share their work and people eager to learn what the future might hold.”
The top three teams at the showcase will be awarded prizes. Recent winning prototypes include pressure-canceling headphones for airplane rides, cooled solar panels designed to maximize efficiency, and an augmented-reality beacon for mobile phones designed to help people locate each other in crowds.
In addition to the showcase, applications for the summer and fall semesters of I2P are now open at i2p.gatech.edu. Forest encourages any and all students interested in the program to grab a few friends and apply.
“There are no restrictions in terms of prerequisites, major, or year, so almost all of our teams are interdisciplinary. Teams pool people with different skills and expertise, and the structure and voluntary nature of the program means students’ passion is unbridled.”
To apply for summer or fall semester, students only need a team, a real-world problem that needs solving, and an idea for a solution.
Teams accepted into the program will receive $500 in funding, course research credit, and mentorship from a Georgia Tech faculty member. The application deadline is Saturday, May 5. Visit the I2P website to learn more or apply.