Now through Nov. 23, undergraduate and graduate students can apply to the Maker Hub’s annual program for monetary and mentorship support to explore their ideas.
Applications are now open for the Maker Hub’s 2021 Elon Kickbox program.
Now in its sixth year, the program has provided dozens of undergraduate and graduate students with resources, mentorship and $300 to explore and bring their ideas to life.
“Kickbox is one of my favorite things we do at the Maker Hub and I’m glad we’re doing it again in 2021,” said Dan Reis, senior instructional technologist for Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT). “I really like watching the students dig into their projects and make significant progress throughout the semester.”
Kickbox applications will be accepted through Nov. 23. To apply, students just need to have an idea, Reis said. In addition, students must secure a faculty or staff sponsor that will support their project. The Maker Hub will host a virtual information session via Zoom for interested students on Friday, Nov. 13 at 3:15 p.m. Students must register to attend.
Past projects have featured 3D printing, robotics, jewelry making, wearable technology, laser engraving and other technologies.
Honors Fellow, engineering major and track and field athlete Madison George used her 2020 Elon Kickbox to design and prototype the first women’s pole-vaulting shoe that is fully customizable based on the arch and overall foot measurements of the wearer.
“Currently, pole vault spikes don’t come in women’s sizes, so this could potentially help to represent the population of female athletes in the sport, as well as prevent injury because it’s completely customizable,” she said.
Through the Kickbox program, she has received guidance from an Elon alumnus who works with 3D printing company tasked with designing a 3D printed midsole for Adidas running shoes, and the owner of a company that designs soccer cleats for women.
In the spring, Mikayla Ford, Angy Aguilar and Ciani Foy used their 2020 Kickbox to create Stem-ista — a board game designed to expose young girls to careers and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and ultimately help to increase the number of women who pursue careers in related fields. These Elon undergrads agree that valuable resources and feedback have been essential to the refinement of their project.
“I have learned, not only the importance of reiterating a prototype, but the benefits of doing so,” Ford said. “Our game has developed and evolved so much since its inception because we kept refining our ideas and kept improving them.”
“Constructive feedback is pertinent to the design process and evolution of the final product,” Foy said. “Your first design is not going to be the last one and everyone is not going to like it. Build from the advice and criticism – great results will come from doing so.”
Although the project has gone through numerous iterations, the purpose behind it remains the same, Aguilar said.
“I have learned the importance of the ‘why’ behind an innovation,” she said. “Our ‘why,’ or purpose, has been the driving force enabling us to make decisions that influence what we do and how we do it.”
Elon Kickbox recipients will be selected and notified by mid-December. To learn more about requirements, review sponsor expectations and submit your application, visit the Maker Hub website. Details about past projects also are available.