Leaders from Coldspring partnered with St. Cloud State University faculty to deliver an exciting challenge to St. Cloud State student teams as Huskies Invent returned March 25-27 after a pandemic hiatus.
Huskies Invent is a non-stop weekend long “Invent-a-thon”. Student teams have 48 hours to develop and present their unique solutions to real-world challenges that Coldspring manufacturing teams work with every day. This was the second time Coldspring and St. Cloud State have partnered to bring this challenge before students.
The ideas and solutions generated from their first Huskies Invent resulted in some of the solutions being implemented into actual manufacturing practices at Coldspring. It took exceptional teamwork, communication skills, and creativity to meet the challenges placed before the student teams to tackle problems from spacers for stone tiles to using a computer system to verify data and spellings on a bronze cast set up.
St. Cloud State created around the clock access for the students participating in this event to utilize equipment, prototyping labs, and fabrication labs. St. Cloud State faculty joined with the Coldspring team as mentors and technical resource experts to aid the student teams in developing their designs. The teams used design process methodology to select an approach to the problem, devise a working proof of concept prototype, and present their solution all in a single weekend. The event concluded with a formal presentation by each team to a panel of Coldspring experts on Sunday evening.
Though each team was competing for top recognition, the goal of the event is to challenge and highlight, the students’ creativity, team building, and problem-solving skills. Each team’s ideas, prototypes, and approaches toward solving the challenge will add direct and tangible value toward addressing actual issues.
“It is a win-win-win scenario”, states Dr. Mark Petzold, one of the event organizers. “All of the students receive a resume-worthy experience working on actual challenges faced by Industry. The university gets to work side by side with community partners while exhibiting the skills and creative talents of St. Cloud State students, and industry professionals get to work directly with students and faculty as advisors around programs that help to produce their future workforce.”
Coldspring was excited for the opportunity to partner with St. Cloud State University and assist in developing students’ creative problem-solving skills as they prepare for their careers ahead. Coldspring was seeking both solutions to their problems and a chance to give back to the community by working with students.