TLAC Students Excel At Aggies Invent


Written by: Justin Ikpo (cehdcomm@tamu.edu)
Post date: February 23, 2016

Several students from the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) competed and won at the recent Aggies Invent weekend, Feb. 5-7, hosted by the College of Engineering and underwritten by AT&T, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Huckabee.

Aggies Invent is a themed, intensive innovation/design experience challenging students to solve real world problems while collaborating with students within multidiscipline/multi-level teams. The end goal is to provide students the opportunity to acquire skills essential to becoming successful innovation leaders and support them in founding startup companies. 

Fifty-eight graduate and undergraduate students from across the university were chosen to participate out of approximately 120 student applications.  Students had 48 hours to solve challenges facing K-12 STEM education. Dr. Radhika Viruru and Dr. Robin Rackley, clinical professors in early childhood development, gathered the problem statements with input from Mr. Rodney Boehm, the event partners, current Ed.D. students and the CSISD technology teacher, Bart Taylor.

“Engaging students in multi-disciplined teams pushes true innovation by sharing skills and perspectives that expanded the scope of each solution,” said Boehm. “Getting outside your space generates new possibilities and product ideas.”

Students self-divided into 10 teams, and were provided access to the Engineering Innovation Center, a 20,000 sq. foot rapid prototyping facility. They also had the opportunity to work with research librarians and mentors from the university and industry. Dr. Noboru Matsuda, associate professor in cyber STEM education, joined Drs. Rackley and Viruru as mentors.  

Two of the three winning teams contained students from TLAC. Katie Black, a Ph.D. student in technology and teacher education, led team G.R.I.T., which placed third overall. The students developed an app that allows teachers and parents of students with special needs to collaborate on daily goals and progress from one simple portal.

Keller Young, a 4+1 Masters student, participated with the STEMspace team and won second place with their social media site that allows students to conduct science experiments, share results and findings with their teacher, earn badges, and challenge other students in their “STEM space” to conduct experiments. Each team is able to continue development of their idea and turn it into a product.

The Aggies Invent Program will continue this semester with the upcoming Aggies Invent-Sports, which will be held March 4-6. Students from the Department of Health and Kinesiology and the College of Medicine will collaborate together to create innovative solutions to enhance safety, participation, and the overall experience in sports. Plan to participate in this unique experience to challenge your perceptions and creativity.