The Ghana Engineering Students Association (GESA) Makers Faire is a Science and Technology Competition and Exhibition organized annually by GESA in association with Creativity Group. The Faire seeks to feed-on and bring out creativity of students in addressing societal and industrial challenge based on science and technology.
So far, the faire has been organized successfully twice in the school and has brought up various projects and start-ups amongst students based on the core of Creativity and Innovation.
The program started last year, piloting at KNUST with engineering student and so far has 15 innovative solutions has come out of the competition and we are currently working on scaling up some of their solutions to the market.
The program takes a comprehensive and complete approach by providing the students training on designing process, business development, technical development and presentation. The teams are also are paired with successful entrepreneur mentors.
Over 100 students have directly be involved in the program and close to 800 students have benefited directly as non-participants through the program business development and entrepreneurship classes and designing classes.
Should all these projects and innovations pass through their post-competition development program, we are expecting large scale impact; employment and solutions for the community, as a result of these program.
In Ghana, a number of youthful ideas do not get to see the light of day as a result of lack of appropriate platforms and facilities to help nurture and develop these ideas into prototypes and products or processes for business development and job creation.
To promote entrepreneurship through solving relevant societal and industry challenges, this competition, which will be organized within the framework of GESA Makers Faire, is therefore seeks platform which provides opportunity for KNUST engineering students collaborating together with students from other disciplinary to demonstrate their innovative and creative ideas in solving societal and industrial challenges.
It will enable students to engage in hands-on scientific and engineering activities that can lead to products and processes of market value. Innovation and creativity among students can be unearthed early to receive the required motivation to carry on with many inventions and technological solutions. We believe that the combination of brilliant ideas from diverse disciplines and teamwork can make science and engineering students develop practical and appropriate solutions to accelerate national development.
In our current situation of growing unemployment, this platform will help promote entrepreneurship at the undergraduate level and help students turn their innovative ideas into businesses and solutions.
Further plans will be to develop this competition into a national platform where students in other universities across the country will be incorporated.
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The goal of the GESA Makers Faire is to promote collaborative innovation and creativity among students pursuing engineering at KNUST.
The specific objectives are, in summary, to:
· Encourage innovation and teamwork in design process and product development among KNUST engineering students
· Create a platform where student can contribute directly
- Create a community of like-minded students who can share information and resources
· Create a platform for students with brilliant ideas to showcase their ideas to potential investors and entrepreneurs.
· Bring together local innovators, students and faculty members to promote market-driven innovations
GESA Makers Faire will be organized in four parts:
This proposal focuses on the competition part of the GESA Makers Faire. The section below describes the competition and the adopted approach.
The aim of the pre- competition is to adequately orient and prepare perspective to understand what the competition is about, its goals and objectives, benefits, requirements and timeline.
It will also serve as an avenue to promote the competition whiles interacting with the students. It will help individuals with great ideas to select a diverse and great team and also help them to test their ideas through the design process.
The pre-competition phase will be in 2 parts
· Information session
· Online Design Process Class
· Online Registration phase
This is meant to well inform students, adequately orient and prepare to understand what the competition is about, goals and objectives, benefits, requirements and timeline. It will also serve as an avenue to promote the competition whiles interacting with the students.
Online Design Process Class
The main purpose of this classes is to training interested students to how test your idea to know whether is actually solves the problem at head. It helps them appreciate the problem they are solving and also helps them to frame the problems and match it perfectly their proposed solution. It will help to better pitch their idea during the on-line registration stage. It will also help individuals/team to form better team which ideally should be multi-disciplinary.
The classes will be held online to allow students to study at their convenience. Ideally, it will take place during the semester break to enable more student to partake.
Through publicity, students with innovate ideas and students who want to be part of the competition will be encourage to registered online and pitch their idea. They will be required to register in teams of a maximum of 5 with an option of having two team members from different colleges. They will be require to provide team details. The registration will be open from the day of starting the designing process class.
The Makers Competition
The competition is open to all students pursuing undergraduate programs in engineering at KNUST but each has an option of adding two (2) extra members from the two (2) other college at the university.
The competition aims at promoting interdisciplinary team forming. It is expected that teams will be made up of students from different departments but this is not a pre-requisite.
Students who wish to participate in the competition should present one project and should form a team to work on the project. However, the number of students in each group will not exceed five (5), including the option of adding two (2) non engineering students.
To participate, each team will have to register and apply online. Some of the information required during the application process includes name of team, name of project and name of individuals in a team.
Challenge Focus Areas
The competition will be aiming at ideas and projects that tackle relevant challenges and their ability to solve societal and industrial problems.
For this year’s competition will focus on
1. Energy (Cook stoves)
2. Waste Management and Recycling
3. Rural Education
4. Health and Sanitation
5. Agriculture (Post harvest storage and prevention of losses).
Selection and Review
After review of applications, teams will be invited for interview by a panel of experts and Creativity Group leaders. Project ideas will be reviewed based on feasibility, knowledge about proposed project, how innovative and potential a project is and other criteria developed to guide the competition. After the review, selected projects will be funded with a commitment from the team to completely design and build the proposed project.
A total number of fifteen teams will be selected after the online application and two other qualification stages will be done to cut down the final team number to ten (10) at the final stages of the competition.
Each team will be assigned a technical assistant from Creativity Group, faculty mentor and external field expert/entrepreneur to help in the design, making and business development process.
The competition will be for a period of 3 weeks and it will comprise of 3 coverage
· Training/seminar sessions
· Making and Prototyping
Each week of the 3 weeks of the competition will be dedicated to particular training objective/skill building. The aim to give a comprehensive and all round training to these students. Also to giving them the training which will be required as an innovator and entrepreneurs.
It will include
- Designing for Impact and Innovation session
- Business development and Entrepreneurship
- Pitching and Marketing
Each team will be assigned a technical assistant from Creativity Group, field expert, faculty members to help in the design and making.
The mentors will be required to provide guidance and serve as advisors to the teams as they work on their various projects for the competition. As a requirement, each team will be required to meet their mentors at least twice a week.
Making and Prototyping
The making and prototyping commence just after the launching of the competition. Students will be provided with all the materials, funds and technical support needed for their work. They will also get access to workshops and labs required for their work. Technical assistance will also be provided for them by both mentors and field experts.
The Faire: Exhibition and Presentation.
The Faire which crowns the program/competition will be in two (2) parts;
1. Exhibition by other students, past projects, makers and sponsors.
2. Presentation by teams partaking in the competition.
Students participating in the competition will be required to do the following on the exhibition and awards day:
· Submit a report on how they went about their project.
· Give a 5 minutes PowerPoint presentation of their projects.
· Demonstrate and explain the workings of their project to the judges, invited guests, lecturers, members of staff and students.
- Answer questions from judges and audience.
Projects will be judged and marks will be awarded based on the following criteria:
- Originality and creativity.
- Cost affordability of project
· How innovative it is.
- Ability to follow scientific and engineering design process
- Practicality and its application in society and industry.
· Its ability to solve societal and industrial problems
- Potential for up-scaling and enterprise development
Marks will also be awarded for good presentation skills, content and composure. Prizes will be awarded to all five teams that wins each category. And the overall best team/project wins the IDIN Prize for Innovation & Development (IPID)
In summary, the GESA Makers Faire 3.0 competition is planned for a one month period -starting with the launching of the program on Friday, 17th April 2015 and ending on Wednesday, 30th September 2015.
Publicity about competition and opening of on-line application (submission of ideas) will start from 10th April and 15th May, 2015 respectively.
On-line application will require students to submit an idea and registration of a team.
After closing of the deadline for submission a selected panel of faculty members and external evaluators will evaluate the submitted ideas from 10 th May to 14th July, 2015 for the first phase of evaluation.
Projects and teams that pass the first evaluation will be invited on the 24th July, 2015 to the meet the selected panel of evaluators for further evaluation of their idea and proposed projects. After the in-person, evaluation, the panel of evaluators will select 10 projects. The finalists of 5 teams will go through a final selection stage on 27TH July, 2015 for the main competition.
The competition is scheduled to be launched on the 9th September, 2015 which will be followed by a 7-day of orientation for the 10 teams; 31 st August to 8th September, 2015.
Exhibition and presentation of projects by the various teams is scheduled to take place on the 30th September, 2015.
PROPOSED TIMELINE FOR GESA MAKERS FAIRE 3.0
Information dissemination – 10th-16th April 2015
Social Media Campaign– 17th- 14th July 2015
Launching 9th September 2015
Registration opens 8th May- 3rd July, 2015
Registration ends 3rd July 2015, 18:00 GMT
First evaluation by field experts 10th July-14th July 2015
Publishing of first results and comments 15st July 2015
Second evaluation (online interview-Google Hangout) 18th July 2015
Publishing of second evaluation results and comments 20th July 2015
Third evaluation (In-person interview) 24th July 2015
Publishing of third evaluation results and comments 27th July 2015
Submission of budget 31st July 2015
Survey and visits by teams 3rd -17th August 2015
Training, workshops and seminars 31st August to 8th September 2015
Trip to Fablab 11th -14th September 2015
Exhibition and presentation day- 30th September 2015
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