MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Diane Amanti
Undergraduate Student
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA

This video lesson introduces students to the worlds of engineering innovation and entrepreneurship. It seeks to encourage students to see the world with a fresh perspective for innovation through interactive classroom brainstorming activities and real life stories. Students will build self-efficacy in their own entrepreneurial potential by developing their perspective for innovation, developing a prototype solution for a problem they have recognized, and delivering an elevator pitch. The video will familiarize students with all the steps in the innovation process: from conception to launch. By the end of this lesson, students will be prepared for an optional long-term innovation project (see below). There are no formal prerequisites for this video; any high school or advanced middle school student can participate in and benefit from this video’s learning activities. The video and learning activities can be completed in one 55-minute class period. Students can interact with MIT BLOSSOMS on the BLOSSOMS Facebook page  for ongoing conversations on the following topics for a long-term project:

  1. Innovations for those with physical limitations
    What opportunities for innovations to aid those with physical limitations have you recognized and/or resolved? 
  2. Feasible inexpensive driveway turntable

Your challenge is this: Might there be some innovation in designing an easy-to-use driveway turntable that breaks the cost barrier of about $1,000? What innovative ideas do you have for bringing down the price of a driveway turntable?

Diane Amanti is a Bachelor’s of Science student in both MIT’s Economics Division and Sloan School of Management and is interested in Operations Research. She is also the co-chair of MIT Society of Women Engineers’ Women in Science and Engineering Program and is devoted to inspiring and encouraging future generations on the path to math, science, and engineering.

This site, sponsored by LiteMind: Exploring Ways to Use Our Minds Efficiently, presents a technique/checklist called Scamper that can be used to spark creativity and overcome any challenge one may be facing.
http://litemind.com/scamper/

This site, hosted by Econedlink: Economics and Personal Finance Resources for K-12, has lessons on entrepreneurship for teachers and interactive tools for students.
http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.php?lid=228&type=educator

This site is presented on the These Kids Mean Business website and provides high school lesson plans on teaching entrepreneurship.
http://www.thesekidsmeanbusiness.org/educators_guide/high_school_lesson_plans.php

This site, sponsored by Entrepreneur U. of the Kaufman Foundation, provides a database of online resources for both teachers and students interested in learning about entrepreneurship.
http://www.kauffman.org

This is a Wall Street Journal article on the fact that accidents happen and sometimes innovation follows.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121441267966303881.html

Another example of how bad events can lead to great new inventions.
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/04/tech/innovation/the-earthquake-proof-t...

Article on why cities are centers of innovation
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/06/secret-why-cit...

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