10 Innovative Project Ideas To Help Students Become Change Agents
Creativity and Innovation are words that are often used synonymously. However, they are completely different. Creativity is related to imagination and innovation is related to implementation. So you could have a creative idea and translate that into an innovative device or method to bring about a change. If this innovation creates value for customers and satisfies a need, it will be purchased. For example, if you go to a supermarket you will come across new and improved products which are a result of innovation.
What are the types of innovations?
? Architectural Innovation - The existing technology is introduced in new markets. This is a market expansion strategy. It also helps to overthrow competitive products with the right service and pricing.
? Radical Innovation - It creates new technology that gives birth to new industries. The discovery of Bluetooth connectivity led to innovation of wireless laptops, keyboards, mouse, ear pods and so on. This in turn gave birth to industries that catered to this need.
? Incremental Innovation - It uses existing technology and increases its value to customers by enhancing the features of the product. For example, additional attachments and accessories are given along with household appliances.
? Disruptive Innovation - The newer technology surpasses the old and disrupts companies manufacturing the old product. For example, LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) and CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) disrupted intensely hot light bulbs.
|New Market||Architectural Innovation||Radical Innovation|
|Existing Market||Incremental Innovation||Disruptive Innovation|
|Existing Technology||New Technology|
How can you change the education system?
As a student you can introduce innovation to the education system in the following ways:
? Allow your imagination to flourish.
? Think outside the box.
? Ask a lot of open ended questions. Open ended questions are those that require more thought than a simple one word answer.
? Do not be afraid to try new things.
? Bring newness to the routine. If you?ve always done projects in a certain way, ask yourself, ?How can I do this in a better way??
? Make your own STEM bins. A STEM bin is a comprehensive kit that can be used while working on projects. It consists of blocks, cubes, pattern blocks, dominoes, tape, post-it, cue cards, ice-cream sticks, velcro, mini cups, empty tissue rolls, clay, toothpicks, pipes, shoe lace, instruction leaflet, cleaning cloth etc. You can customize your STEM bin as per your need.
How can you train your brain for innovation?
Did you know one side of your brain can be dominant over the other? Did you know you can train your brain to work for you?
The left side or left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body. A person whose left side of the brain is dominant will excel is academics and would be most suited for careers where logic, mathematics, science, verbal communication, analytical thinking, reading, computing, linear thinking, attention to details, fine motor skills, sequencing and so on are required.
Whereas, the right side or right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body. A person whose right side of the brain is dominant excels in arts and would be most suited for careers where creativity, imagination, holistic thinking, intuition, visualization, non-verbal cues, rhythm, emotions, daydreaming, painting, playing an instrument, abstract thinking and so on are required.
In order to sharpen your brain, you can engage in reading, writing, acquiring a new skill, taking up challenging puzzles like Sudoku or crossword, play memory games, video games or hobbies that require your focus.
To boost your creativity, try something new, draw, engage in storytelling, travel to new places, take up a creative hobby, play an instrument, go beyond your comfort zone, dance, meditate, get a better understanding of who you are and what works for you and what doesn?t.
Here are some innovative project ideas for you:
? Serving trays with circles cut out in them - This will ensure the glasses are steadily carried around.
? A torch with a bulb - To light the path ahead as well as near your feet. So you don?t trip in the dark.
? A back belt that supports as well as indicates an incorrect posture - The belt can vibrate when the person slouches. Thus indicating the person to sit, stand and move with the right posture.
? A fan with blades that automatically bend - The blades of the fan can bend with a remote control once switched off. This will enable easy cleaning.
? A solar powered hot plate - To cook and heat food. This will save electricity as cooking is a daily need in almost every household.
? A device to track purses and wallets in the event of theft -This device can be placed in the purse or wallet and will trigger a message to the phone and smart watch as soon as it is at a certain distance away from the phone and smart watch. It can be equipped with a live tracking feature.
? Portable cooling box for the room - This could run on water and can be powered by solar energy. It will save electricity during summers and can replace air conditioners and coolers.
? An indicator to alarm the vehicle owner if keys are left inside the vehicle - A message can be sent to the vehicle owner via the phone and smart watch. This will reduce theft.
? Build a Virtual Reality headset - Through this simulation a person can experience flying, deep sea diving, play video games etc. It is an economical option.
? Build portable and foldable tents for the homeless - These tents can be carried as a bag pack and will protect the homeless from rain and cold weather. This tent should be easy to assemble and light in weight to be carried around.