In July 2022, Andrews University’s Department of Science, Technology, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) will host the first Mission: Invent, an initiative that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship among students attending Seventh-day Adventist schools K-12 in the United States and Canada. . During Mission: Invent students will choose real-world problems, create solutions using engineering design methodologies and entrepreneurial skills, and demonstrate their projects to colleagues at invention fairs.
“The participating classes or schools should have an invention fair as a traditional science fair, except that the projects are done in groups,” said Monica Nudd, STEM coordinator at the College of Arts and Sciences. “We want students to develop a love of math and science by developing and modeling a solution to their problem.”
Teams are encouraged to address issues they may face in everyday situations such as home, school, church and their community. “It could be something as simple as preventing a coat from falling off the hook at school or creating something that will help collect all the dog toys around the house,” Nad said. “Students should ask parents, grandparents or other trusted adults about the challenges they face or what they want to improve.”
The winning teams from each school will be registered to participate in the exhibition and award ceremony organized by Andrews University on July 11, 2022. The STEM department hopes to hold the celebration in person at Andrews ’campus.
“Invention and innovation are skills that prepare students for the 21ststreet-century labor market, ”said Matthias Soto, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Both established companies and small businesses are in desperate need of inventors and innovators who can transform their businesses to cope with the ever-changing changes in the world today.”
“Mission: Invent helps students learn and develop innovative skills from an early age, so [the skills] become part of their education. This prepares them both for the complex curriculum of the college and for the real labor market, ”Soto added.
In addition to working on projects to demonstrate at the Invention Fairs, students participating in Mission: Invent will have the opportunity to learn basic engineering and inventive skills in the classroom. Nood worked with colleague Michael Bryson, an engineer and graduate of Andrews, to create workbooks, assessments, columns, and other resources for K-12 teachers that they can use to incorporate engineering topics into their program.
In August, October, and November 2021, Nad and Bryson through Zoom conducted live interactive training sessions for Adventist teachers. During these meetings, teachers were introduced to the basics of engineering, design thinking and inventions, and introduced ideas to solve exemplary problems.
“There is nothing better than practical training to consolidate knowledge in a young person’s mind,” Soto said. “This program offers students the opportunity for active learning, teamwork, problem solving, and focused work. All of these skills are invaluable to students. ”
Andrews University is collaborating with other Adventist universities and conferences across North America to set up an advisory committee on Mission: Invent. Members include representatives of the University of AdventHealth, the University of Burma, the Conference of Central California, the University of La Sierra, the University of Loma Linda, the Union College of Pacific, the University of Southern Adventist, the Southern Conference, the University of Southwestern and the University of Adventist University. The Committee plans to manage the rotation of Mission: Invent in participating universities in the future.
Mission: Invent was made possible by a grant awarded to the STEM division of Andrews University by the Versacare Foundation in the spring of 2021. Founded in 1990, the Versacare Foundation caters to Seventh-day Adventist services and other humanitarian activities through financial grants.
There is still time to participate in Mission: Invent in 2022. Teachers wishing to study can visit the Mission: Invent website and start hands-on activities in their classrooms. Home students are also invited to participate. For more information on Mission: Invent, visit andrews.edu/go/invent.