Beginning Innovation Lab: First Impressions

The decision to join Innovation Lab last year was a last minute decision formed in the midst of finals and stress. And I have absolutely no regrets. However, doing the activity I was introduced to on the first day, I realize I have to work towards one goal: find the courage to think outside the box.

On the first day, we entered the classroom. I was shocked with how the classroom was set up, how people sat wherever they wanted. Then, class began. We had a project immediately. We approached the paper bags on our desk with curiosity, but we opened them with speed. We were told to take the items and succeed in the challenge written on the piece of paper: create a sketch of a machine that would keep a newborn baby warm without electricity. Not ever really being in a situation where this was ever given as a project, I was confused and worried I would do it wrong. In front of me lay two straws, a plastic sheet, a couple paper clips, an elastic band, and a notecard. In the midst of me being confused, I ended up taking the simple way out. With my partner, I transformed the paper into a cocoon with a paperclip so it would cradle the child, hopefully keeping them warm without electricity. At the end, I realized that the result was somewhat original. But I was still proud of creating an answer for a demand I, at first, had no clue how to approach.

The purpose of the project was to create a physical sketch of what we wanted to make, and use the materials given to the best of our ability.  While my group’s creation may have been a bit unoriginal, I saw from other groups how well people worked together. I also saw how they created things that weren’t immediately obvious. I believe this philosophy is important to keep in mind as I venture into InnLab as a new student because I see it as the goal of the program: thinking outside the box. My goal as the school year continues is to feel 110% confident with stepping outside of the box, and eventually feeling comfortable creating creative solutions for future projects.


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