The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) Technology Transfer Office, NSWC Crane STEM program, and Ivy Tech Community College (Ivy Tech) have partnered to coach young entrepreneurs during a summer camp for students in the seventh to tenth grade age group.
The intent of the Entrepreneur Summer Camp, most recently in its second year of existence, was to create a technology transfer focused STEM summer camp for students in grades seven through ten. By combining the resources of NSWC Crane’s nationally recognized T2 and STEM programs with expertise from the Ivy Tech Center for Entrepreneurship, the students were able to brainstorm new products derived from NSWC Crane technology, build their products, and then present them to a panel in a pitch competition in a one-week period.
Three NSWC Crane patents were chosen from their portfolio that would be easy for the students to create a prototype using the tools available to them. These included: The Adjustable Ergonomic Firearm Grip (US Patent 9,885,538 and US Patent 9,599,429) which provided a design for a movable grip; the Cable Reel (US Patent 8,444,078) which provided a spool for winding and unwinding; and the System and Method for Charging a Weapon (US Patent 9,188,400) which provided a hand-crank method for charging.
The students were presented with a summary of each technology, examples of how NSWC Crane uses the technology to help the Warfighter, and the opportunity to ask questions about the technologies. Ivy Tech’s experts taught the students about brainstorming, how to craft a pitch, and how to market the product.
Throughout the week, the STEM team taught the students how to use the different tools available to them to prototype their product such as CAD drawings, using the 3D printer, building electrical circuits using Arduinos, and flash animation for product marketing. T2 team members and Ivy Tech experts met with the student groups one-on-one to work on their pitches and prepare them for the competition.
At the end of the week, the student groups presented the products and pitches to a panel which included NSWC Crane employees and Ivy Tech staff. The students were able to use the weeklong program to expand their knowledge of how to make things, how to work together, and how to communicate their ideas to an audience. The program exposed the students to technology transfer and gave them the tools to become entrepreneurs.
Contact: Brooke Pyne, (812) 854-4823, [email protected].