Two St. Cloud State University teams are preparing to present their ideas for the chance of earning up to $25,000 in innovation funding at the Shark Tank Open April 4.
The Shark Tank Open is Educational Innovation’s premier innovation event, drawing educators from across the 37 colleges and universities of Minnesota State. The educators go before an expert panel — the sharks — to provide spirited pitches in an effort to win up to $25,000 in innovation funding.
Pitching from St. Cloud State this year will be John Mirth from the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and an interdisciplinary trio made up of Mark Gill from the College of Science and Engineering, Scott Miller from the Department of Music, and Alan Srock from the Department of Atmospheric and Hydrological Sciences.
Mirth is pitching for funding for “Engineering Labs on the Go!” with the goal of increasing accessibility of engineering degrees through the development of portable engineering labs.
Gill, Miller and Srock are pitching for “MN NICE — the Minnesota (State) Networked Immersive Collaborative Experience” with the goal of assembling a virtual Reality classroom and aid faculty in creating and sharing VR experiences with their students.
Among those being recognized at the Shark Tank Open are three St. Cloud State projects that earned Minnesota State Innovation Grant funding previously that will begin their innovative work in 2019-2020.
Kannan Sivaprakasam is receiving $10,000 in funding for “Development of competency-based digital badges/Micro credentials system: A pilot project”. The project is to develop and implement digital badges to serve the unmet needs of learners in the Minnesota State system. The digital badges provide validation of skills and competencies and support learning that is actively in process.
Sivaprakasam is working on the project with his co-principle investigators Plamen Miltenoff, Gail Ruhland, Melanie Guentzel and Eugenia Paulus of North Hennepin Community College.
William Gorcica is receiving more than $6,000 in funding for “Making the Digital Physical” a helping students transform their creative work designed on a computer into a three-dimensional form. The project is designed to give art students an entry-level experience with new technologies for 3D.
Amy Herbert Knopf is receiving $10,000 for “SCSU Assistive Technology Lab”, which will bring together an interdisciplinary team to create a statewide Assistive Technology Lab at St. Cloud State that can beused to educate students, staff, faculty, community members and others about resources available to remove barriers people with disabilities face in education, employment and daily life.
Knopf is working on the project with co-principle investigators Kathryn Johnson, Andria Belisle, Sara Gracheck and Roseann Wolak.
The Shark Tank Open also features an innovation exhibit room dedicated to previously funded innovations. Attendees have a chance to compete for up to $10,000 in Pay it Forward funding that can be used to replicate an innovation project on another campus.