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Everyday innovations

Entrepreneurship students showcase creative concepts

By Jake Graham ('13), intern Office of Communications and External Relations
A photo of the everyday innovations exhibit
Sally James ('13) tries on a prototype -- earphones designed to protect children's hearing -- at the Everyday Innovations exhibit.

More than 40 students in Lynn Book’s Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise 100 classes, Creativity & Innovation, participated in an exhibition as a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week. Their “Everyday Innovations” showcase was featured in the Scales Fine Arts Center.

“One of the main course goals is to expose the students to the creative process and the associated forms of experimentation that come with the innovation and design process,” said senior lecturer Lynn Book.

Student creations ranged from a light created from recycled water bottles to a door with a built-in ping pong table. The prototypes built by the students are often symbolic and are not necessarily functional, just yet at least.

Sophomore Alexandra Dudley created the concept for a new solar powered lamp. She said her idea was inspired by a talk she heard at the TEDxWakeForestU Conference last February. The lamp will be covered in small leaf-like solar panels and is wireless, allowing for the ability to be placed by windows when not in use to recharge.

The course project challenges students to consider their ideas on both community and global levels to design ideas and prototypes which could have a significant impact for differently resourced areas of the world, which are referred to as “The Other 90%” in the design community.

Emily English, a senior, approached the project with this in mind, creating “Counseling Outside the Box”. Her concept is to implement a videoconferencing platform for youth around the world who are suffering from a variety of disorders. The system would allow children to share their experiences and form a virtual community of peer support.

The students kept idea books to capture their ideas over the course of the semester. Their favorite idea was developed as a prototype and shown at the Everyday Innovations exhibition, which ran November 13-15.

Junior Patrick Yarborough used his personal experiences in the development of his concept. Shade Safe is a color-changing expiration date label that indicates if your food is safe to eat. When the food is fresh, the label appears green but as it loses its freshness, the color gradually changes to red, visually indicating when something is safe to consume.

“The Everyday Innovations developed for the exhibit’s third year are thought-provoking and interesting to consider and range greatly in scope,” Polly Black, director of the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest. “They highlight the range of entrepreneurial ideas that a liberal arts education can help foster through critical thinking skills and the ability to persevere.”

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