By TARYN RIPPLE
The Drake University Innovation Studio aims to foster entrepreneurship among students by stimulating creative thinking and providing opportunities for them to create and build.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Studio hosted an event that invited students to make their own vinyl stickers. The event, which took place in the Innovation Studio located in Meredith Hall, was attended by several dozen students who stopped by to create a personalized sticker.
To make their own custom sticker, students first used computers to pick out a digital outline of what they wanted their sticker to look like. Next, they scanned the image to a tool called the Silhouette Cameo, a device that contains a blade to cut a sheet of vinyl into the desired shape. The Silhouette Cameo then carved along the shape’s outline. Students were able to easily remove excess material by hand, and their sticker was complete.
Learning how to make a DIY sticker isn’t the only skill students who partake in Drake’s Innovation Studio programs can gain. The studio offers its participants a number of opportunities to explore their creative sides and to experiment with different types of technology.
“The Innovation Studio exists to try to get students to think more creatively,” said Chris Snider the associate professor of the journalism department, who helps run the program.
The popular sticker making program is only one of many activities offered by Drake’s Innovation Studio. The group typically hosts at least one event per month. Events range from student presentations to hands-on activities such as the vinyl sticker making day.
Snider explained that the sticker making project is one of the studio’s most popular activities as it’s fairly simple and quick to do. Other events from the Innovation Studio include T-shirt screen printing, creativity fairs and 3D printing demonstrations.
Snider said that a mission of the Innovation Studio is to knock down barriers that may stand in the way of a student’s goals or ideas. Snider used the example of app developing to illustrate this point: if a student has an idea for an app but doesn’t have the skills or means to make one, the Innovation Studio is a good resource for that student to use in order to find someone who can help them bring the idea to life. Snider explained that, in this way, the Studio is meant to help students connect with one another to advance ideas and creativity.
The Innovation Studio is also a starting point for entrepreneurs. It is meant to foster ideas on the Drake campus with the intent of eventually leading to something more. The Studio can be a gateway to entrepreneurship, and the experiences that are gained from the Studio can eventually lead to something on a grander scale, like starting a business or creating a product.
According to the Drake Innovation Studio website, “The Drake Innovation Studio’s goal is to help foster creativity and entrepreneurial spirit on Drake University’s campus. We want to help students make connections on campus and in the Des Moines community.” They also host an innovation week which poses a series of challenges for students to complete.
Snider also noted a student group known as the Innovators, a club that convenes to build and create together. The Innovators often host events on Saturdays for students who are interested in innovative and creative activities such as the ones promoted by the Innovation Studio. According to Snider, the Innovators are a great group to consider joining as a prospective or aspiring creator.