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SLU Innovators Test Themselves at Parks College's Innovation Challenges

A team works on a component of their project during the Wednesday, Feb. 7 Monthly Innovation Challenge at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.A team works on a component of their project during the Wednesday, Feb. 7 Monthly Innovation Challenge at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

Every month at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology the race is on to innovate and meet the college’s monthly challenge that brings together engineering and entrepreneurship.

The college’s Monthly Innovation Challenges have been going on since 2011 and stem from a partnership with the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business and Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network.

Between 12 and 15 teams made up of three or four people usually compete in the hour-long quest to have fun, practice creativity and to innovate by completing set challenges. Some of the recent challenges teams have undertaken included designing the tallest spaghetti stick structure to creating a “green” toaster box design.

During Atlas Week 2017, teams were challenged to innovate on a product used by a humanitarian aid volunteer in crisis relief efforts. Allison Thompson, the week’s keynote speaker and founder of CTEC, the first tsunami early-warning disaster center in Sri Lanka, judged the projects produced and a team from the College for Public Health and Social Justice took home that challenge’s top prize.

Teams can win cash prizes and a special $1,000 prize will be offered for a challenge scheduled during National Engineers Week on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in the rotunda of McDonnell Douglas Hall.

The challenges are open to the entire SLU community and teams do not have to an engineering background to participate. Faculty and staff members can also participate.

Photos by Simon Nguyen. Additional text and captions by Amelia Flood, University Marketing and Communications.