Colorful Creations at Michigan Tech

Fellows from around the U.S. took part in Michigan Tech’s Regional Meetup in October 2018.

The Michigan Tech “Colorful Creations” Regional Meetup set out to combine the dramatic landscape of fall foliage with two days immersed in the community innovation culture. The Tech Fellows and faculty hosted 20 participants from seven schools for the Meetup, held October 19-20, 2018.

The group certainly got the culture immersion. The Fall colors, not as much. Michigan Tech is commonly known as the snowiest college in the United States, and the school lived up to that title over the event weekend. Fortunately, the Michigan Tech UIF team has learned the value of adaptability through hosting many events, and the group did get to see some Fall leaves before it snowed.

“From something as minimal as an activity taking longer than expected to something as large as getting a blizzard on Saturday morning, we learned that, while we had a plan in place, it was and never will be ‘finalized’,” said Magann Dykema, a Fellow and one of the event organizers.

During the event, participants took part in Tech’s Innovation Week, visited The Alley Makerspace (created by Fellows and faculty), learned about the activities of the six generations of Tech Fellows, and applied design thinking to a real world challenge — figuring out ways to help Michigan Tech’s community on the Keweenaw Peninsula recover from severe flooding.

“We wanted to not only showcase the work that we have done here, but also the community we live in,” said Magann. “We felt that it was important to share with everyone how the flooding impacted the community. Additionally, we brought in some of our key supporters at Michigan Tech to help with the event so that we could show them how grateful we are for their support.”

Attendees had many opportunities to connect with one another in addition to learning new skills and mindsets.

“It was such a great experience to interact with more of the UIF community,” said Rachel Kolb, a Fellow at Michigan Tech and one of the event organizers. “Everyone was so willing to jump in and participate, all the while bringing tons of enthusiasm to the table no matter what we were doing! My favorite moment of the Meetup was coming together to create crafts using rocks we found on the shores of Lake Superior. While creating some abstract art, we reflected as a group on we have done as Fellows, shared our passions, and even some of our struggles.”

Check out the event video:

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