Make To Innovate (M:2:I) is an exciting program in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University which engages students in hands-on projects to augment their understanding of engineering fundamentals.
What is Make to Innovate?
In recent testimony to Congress, Regina Dugan, the DARPA Director, spoke of one of our nation’s biggest challenges – the decline in our ability to make things. Simply stated, “to innovate, we must be able to make”
We intend to revolutionize our approach to design by introducing “Make to Innovate”, in which students will learn how to design and operate aerospace systems.
About Make to Innovate
The M:2:I program allows for the free flow of design creativity to address real-world problems. In this environment, students will have the opportunity to build, to break, and to learn from their failures. We aim to introduce students to some of the complexity of systems and the concept of design optimization – skills they will carry forth throughout their career.
We encourage all students to sign up for projects through M:2:I and in certain cases, course credit can be obtained (AerE 294 and AerE 494). Students can speak with their academic advisor for details.
These projects will be drawn directly from industry, from ideas developed within the department, and from external competitions. All students within the department are encouraged to get involved at any time during their educational program. We also encourage students outside of the aerospace department to participate in multidisciplinary teams.
All sorts of interesting projects have spawned from M:2:I, but where did M:2:I come from? The group started in the Fall of 2011, but many of the projects in M:2:I have been around for five, ten, or even fifteen years or more. M:2:I was formed to give students hands-on experience and consolidated two existing programs into one unified program. This new program was then granted a newer and much larger facility for the students to us. M:2:I began with about 9 projects and 60 students. Today M:2:I has close to 11 projects and well over 200 students involved and continues to grow.