This is the seventh year of the summer program and we continue to offer cutting edge year-round programs designed to help the youtube generation find their passion in technology. In prior years, the focus has been on robotics and for the last two years we have been testing programs focused on engagement using technology to make things the students want, can give as gifts and more importantly become the next company to launch a product. The primary focus for the summer program will be on wearables or items that would fall into the fashion category as the things you wear and carry around with you each day are of strong interest to many. With social media, YouTube, Kickstarter, Amazon and rapid manufacturing technology the path to becoming a startup is possible for those who want to work hard and have the next big idea.
All individuals or teams are welcomed to present their finished product in front of a panel of judges for design quality, local manufacturing ability, and product viability. Individual projects will also be voted on by other program participants as products that they would buy in a store or online. Products with potential will be eligible for continued development in the year-round TechGarage program with the goal of creating a website, determining actual costs for manufacturing, product refinement in local test marketing and the creation of a Kickstarter campaign with a teenager focused social media marketing campaign to measure interest in the product.
For the final two weeks of the program, we will be working with individual teams to help shape and develop their product concepts. Special attention will be given to stimulating creativity regardless of the participant’s previous experience with design tools. We encourage participants to celebrate their artistic voice and have fun making something new! If you watch any of the cooking or fashion reality shows that is what we are going for and we won’t be sending anyone home early!!!
Each of the following four modules will be offered each week as morning and afternoon programs. The purpose of these modules is to introduce beginning skills in a range of areas needed to design and make a product of interest. If you sign up for the first two weeks then the student will complete all four modules. The remaining two weeks the focus will be on product development. For existing TechGarage members participating in the Spring design program, you will have the option to take specific modules of interest or begin working on your product design that will be presented at the end of the four-week program. For students who are new to the program and would like to compete in the product design competition, we recommend spending the first two weeks in each module and focus on your product design over the two-week break and in the last two weeks work as an individual or in a small team to design the product. To participate in the product design competition you must be enrolled in the 4th week of the summer program.
The focus will be on using Computer-Aided Design to develop skills needed to make precision cuts using a laser in wood, leather, fabrics and acrylic. These are critical skills needed for product manufacturing. Participants will have a range of template projects to pick from primarily focused on wearables.
This module will expose students to writing code on an Arduino microprocessor, battery integration to drive LEDs patterns based on user inputs. It is possible to take home the final project by paying for the cost of the electronics used in the project.
This will focus on 3D modeling tools that can be used to design and 3D print a range of items and is the single biggest enabling technology for product development. Participants will have access to a range of 3D printers and learn the basics required to go from idea to prototype.
Learning how to sew has been of strong interest to a range of students in the program and we couldn’t be more excited about the potential as it relates to developing wearables. We, of course, will have a strong technology component related to using CAD and laser cutter to cut the material. Threading the needle will be the greatest challenge.