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Innovation Challenges: Mind Workouts for Teams
Updated: 3/13/2020 10:10 AM by Michael Johnson
Description
This CardDeck links to a variety of innovation challenges developed by Saint Louis University. 

The goal of the innovation challenges is to promote the entrepreneurial mindset through multiple exposures to innovation process in a competitive, multidisciplinary, team-based, creative environment.

Just as everyone is encouraged to exercise everyday to keep the body fit, innovation challenges are designed to keep the mind fit. It’s a mind workout. The Innovation Challenges help participants to exercise their creative side, work in multidisciplinary teams, and experience the team dynamics. They learn to tackle a novel situation under intense competitive time pressure, while networking with others outside their disciplines, and most importantly, fine-tuning their entrepreneurial skills.

In this CardDeck, each of the challenges are linked in folders below. At the bottom of this card you will find a link to the entire pdf and ibook that features all the challenges in one place.

Note: The pdf does not contain rich media like videos and scrolling images. All assets have been uploaded to the individual cards and can be downloaded/viewed.
Learning Objectives
There are specific learning objectives related to each of the challenges. Follow the links in the folders below to review them.
Instructor Tips
Market the Challenge
The challenge becomes a real challenge only when many teams seriously compete. Promoting the challenge is therefore a key to success. Advertise and incentivize the competition to encourage initial participation. Use flyers, banners, newspapers, student groups, and social media to promote the challenge. Positively push the challenge as an opportunity to not only win prizes, but also to network and develop their personal skill set. A sample pitch for the challenge is shown in the video above. Give T-shirts and other items to spread the information about the challenge. Once the competition begins, the word-of-mouth becomes the best marketing tool.

Time and Location
We recommend conducting the challenges regularly at the same location. For instance, it can be held each week or each month on a certain day from Noon to 1:00 pm. As it is held at the same location and time, the challenges can easily be integrated into the participants’ weekly or monthly routine. A typical challenge runs for one hour from start to finish. Promote the challenge time as a creative break from the busy daily routine work for the participants.

While selecting the location, look for the following features:

• Central space – a central location which can attract a number of participants and readily accessible.

• Open space – an open area that can accommodate the participants. Anticipate growth in the numbers as the challenges become popular.

• Public space – a place where a number of people will pass through. As people pass through the challenge location (while leaving or entering the building during lunchtime), it attracts attention. It attracts passers-by to participate in future challenges or watch the final stages. These students bring intense competitive spirit by cheering their peers. Further, the public recognition is an ultimate incentive for any team.

Team Formation
Open the challenge to the teams of exactly three members. To encourage multidisciplinary collaboration, require the team members to be from different disciplines. Enforce the multidisciplinary requirement for an effective team learning experience.

Depending on the culture of the institution, some participants form their teams ahead of the challenge time and come to the challenge. Several participants come to the challenge without forming their teams. The organizer’s role is help them to form teams. The team member may get to know each other briefly before the challenge.
Curiosity
  • Demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world
  • Explore a contrarian view of accepted solution
Connections
  • Integrate information from many sources to gain insight
  • Assess and manage risk
Creating Value
  • Identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value
  • Persist through and learn from failure
Design
  • Determine Design Requirements
  • Develop New Technologies
  • Perform Technical Design
  • Create Model or Prototype
  • Analyze Solutions
  • Validate Functions
Opportunity
  • Identify Opportunity
  • Evaluate Tech Feasibility, Customer Value, Societal Benefits & Economic Viability
  • Investigate Market
  • Test Concepts via Customer Engagement
  • Create Preliminary Business Model
  • Assess Policy & Regulatory Issues
Impact
  • Communicate Solution in Economic Terms
  • Develop Partnerships & Build Team
  • Communicate Societal Benefits
  • Identify Supply Chains & Distribution Methods
  • Validate Market Interest
  • Protect Intellectual Property
  • General Engineering
  • Engineering Education
The Coleman Foundation
Folders
Description
The first video features Dr. Jerome Katz, who introduces innovation challenges and why Saint Louis University does them.

The second video features a student explaining why she found the innovation challenges valuable.

The third video showcases the location SLU decided to house its innovation challenges.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Intro to Innovation Challenges Video .mp4 1/19/2018 58.6 MB
Student Introduction Video .mp4 1/19/2018 79.7 MB
Example Location Video .mp4 1/19/2018 8.8 MB
Description
This pdf contains a list of all the innovation challenges and showcases which of the 3C's they map to.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Innovation Challenges-Table of Challenges.pdf Other .pdf 1/18/2018 2.7 MB
Description
The logos for the innovation challenge, weekly innovation challenge, and monthly innovation challenge are available for use by others upon request. Additional resources include templates for blade banners, banners, flyers, table clothes, T-shirt designs, the team check-in forms, winner certificate, and problem statements. Contact Dr. Sridhar Condoor (author of this card) for permissions or additional resources.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Innovation Challenges-Branding.pdf Other .pdf 1/18/2018 31.8 MB
Description
In this challenge, students build the tallest freestanding structure that can support a marshmallow.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections student learning outcomes.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Marshmallow Challenge Card Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students build the tallest tower. Blind-folded worker bees build while queen bees can only instruct.

This challenge promotes Connections student learning outcomes.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Queen Bee Challenge Card Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students build an aesthetic bridge to support a certain weight and span a given gap.

This challenge promotes Curiosity, Connection, Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Aesthetic Bridge Challenge Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students hunt the locations of close up pictures.

The challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Scavenger Hunt Challenge Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students build the cheapest raft to float a certain weight and travel a given distance using wind power.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Raft Challenge Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge students create the product presentation for a surge protector.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Electric Outlet Marketing Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students pitch an idea to add a healthy breakfast on campuses.

This challenge promotes Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Elevator Pitch Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students build the tallest table using newspaper to support a ream of paper.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Newspapaer Table Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students recreate a Lego assembly. Planners create assembly instructions and a
builder assembles.

This challenge promotes Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
https://engineeringunleashed.com/cards/cardview.aspx?CardGuid=e87fefd2-2027-4efb-9e6c-bcfbad28472e Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students launch a paper plane using a helium balloon and the longest hovering plane wins.

The challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Balloon Plane Launch Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students play a series of game theory games and earn points.

This challenge promotes Curiosity.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Game Theory Challenge Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students prototype a student desk for a dorm room.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Student Desk Challenge Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students build a device to launch ping-pong balls through a suspended ring.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Space Launcher Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students bring a global sustainability best practice to a local level.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Incorporating Best Practices Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students protect two glass candle holders from a two-story drop.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Supply Drop Challenge Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students design an appealing packaging for a toaster to a “green” shopper.

This challenge promotes Connections and Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Toaster Box Design Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students pitch improvements to Gmail.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Gmail Improvement Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students build an aesthetic bird feeder from trash materials.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Refuse Bird Feeder Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students complete a given set of puzzles. The fastest team wins.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Puzzle Race Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students develop a code that can securely relay a message across a 20 ft. gap.

This challenge promotes Connections and Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Code Transmission Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students build a car powered by a rubber band to travel the farthest distance.

This challenge promotes Curiosity and Connections.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Rubber Band Car Challenge Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
In this challenge, students create a boat to float the most quarters.

This challenge promotes Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Foil Boats Activity / Handout 2/6/2018 -
Description
Download the .ibooks file to have a full media version of the book (requires ibook software)

Download the pdf to have guides to all innovation challenges

Use the iTunes link to download the book directly from the Apple store to read on your Apple device.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Innovation Challenges, Volume 1-2ndEdition.ibooks Other .ibooks 1/19/2018 231.6 MB
Innovation Challenges, Volume 1-2ndEdition12_12.pdf Other .pdf 1/19/2018 187.5 MB
iTunes Store Link Other 1/30/2018 -