Make to Innovate – Design, Build, Test

What is Make to Innovate?

Make to Innovate (M:2:I) is an exciting program housed in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University, that engages students in hands-on projects to augment their understanding of engineering fundamentals.

Project-based learning boosts classroom engagement and directly impacts how well students are prepared to enter the workforce once they graduate. 

We intend to create the engineers of tomorrow with Make to Innovate, in which students will learn how to design, integrate, and operate all systems needed to make a project successful.

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, break, and learn from their failures. We aim to introduce students to some of the complexity of multiple systems and the concept of design optimization – skills they will carry forth throughout their careers.

We encourage all students to sign up for projects through M:2:I; in certain cases, course credit can be obtained (AerE 2940 and AerE 4940). 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 any of our multidisciplinary teams.

M:2:I History

All sorts of interesting projects have spawned from M:2:I, but where did M:2:I come from? The program started in the Fall of 2011, but many projects in M:2:I had been around for five, ten, or even fifteen years or more. M:2:I was formed to give students hands-on experience and to consolidate two existing programs into one unified program. This new program was then granted a newer and much larger facility for student use. M:2:I began with about nine projects and 60 students. Today M:2:I ranges from 12-15 projects and well over 200 students.