Middle and high school students from across the state will take part in a competition that will develop classroom improvements while fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
The annual Innoventure competition, hosted by New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center and sponsored in part by the Daniels Fund, will be from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the NMSU Corbett Center Student Union. The public is invited to view the student inventions from 2:15-3 p.m.
This year’s Innoventure competition theme challenges middle school and high school teams to develop a product for the classroom that will improve the common learning environment, such as tables, chairs and overhead lighting, which has not changed in almost 100 years. Innoventure is an initiative to foster the spirit of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship in New Mexico by providing new generations of innovators with skills in technical design and business savvy.
Innoventure also encourages teamwork to solve real-life problems. The program is designed to generate excitement and creativity in students and provide the experience of transforming an idea into a prototype of a product.
During the day, students take part in workshops, including a public speaking workshop and a workshop by the NMSU biology department in which students will have a chance to visit the Aggie Innovation Space. Palmora, a local media company, will be collecting interviews, stories and video footage from the event.
Innoventure teams hail from across the state, including Las Vegas, N.M., and Las Cruces. Teams such as The String Theorists, Rumbling Rockets, Kairos, Zoomies, Special Classroom Modifications (SCM), The Dream Builders, Learner Intelligence, Renovated and Educated, Las Profesoras, and Straight Outta Anton, among many others, will present their final products to judges, who will assess, offer feedback and designate award winners.
High school winners will receive a $350 scholarship to NMSU. Other winners will receive technology ranging from tablets to Bluetooth speakers. Though the prizes are coveted, the experience of the competition endures far beyond a single day.
“Innoventure is unique in that it helps students understand the relationships between what they are learning in school and how they can use that knowledge to solve real-world problems as well as the process businesses must use to take a product from idea to market,” said Marie Borchert, director of Innoventure.
Innoventure programming includes Innoventure Jr. for K-5 grade students, Camp Innoventure for grades 6-8 and Innoventure, the upcoming competition, for grades 6-12. Innoventure has been a core program within Arrowhead Center for a decade.
Camp Innoventure, a summer program which aims to be part of a pipeline for students, is for middle school students and will take place twice this summer in Las Cruces June 6-12 and June 13-19. Other sessions of Camp Innoventure will take place statewide. Those interested in participating may contact Lydia Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Lauren Goldstein – NMSU