Seven University of Rhode Island students recently spent 12 days during their winter break taking a for-credit class on engineering and entrepreneurship that produced unique results.
The class was part of the school's J-Term program that gives students the opportunity to continue learning during breaks through talks and other work sessions on campus and abroad.
The Engineering Entrepreneurship was led by Malaysian engineer and entrepreneur Rajesh Nair, who is also a visiting scholar at MIT and director of The Innovation and Entrepreneur Center at the Asia School of Business in Kuala Lumpur.
The engineering students worked 12 hour days
in three teams on three types of projects. The first project was to create a cat toy, the second was to solve a real-world problem, and the third was to present the team as the foundation of a business.
Adam Mazzatani's team developed a ball that cat owners can rotate using a joystick, a mailbox with a sliding drawer easily accessed from inside a car, and a robotic hand meant to attach and extend from a wheelchair.
“The class opened me up to a lot of new opportunities that I wouldn’t have experienced in a core curriculum class," he said. "[I was] happy to give up hiking and biking for this.’’
The students demonstrated their projects Jan 13 for the public in Gilbraith Hall on the university's Kingston campus.
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