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Teaching: MEMS Education Kits

In 2004, I started working with a group of undergraduate students in the University of Maryland’s Hinman CEOs Program under the mentorship of Karen Thornton. Karen is a member of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH), and is actively involved in entrepreneurial education at the university.

The students were interested in the possibility of using our benchtop MEMS technology to create education kits that would allow basic MEMS concepts to be taught in institutions without clean rooms (universities, community colleges, even high schools). The IMPACT (Integrating MEMS in Pursuit of Advancing Classroom Technology) team developed a number of kits and lesson plans, conducted surveys of potential users in other universities, and pilot-tested the kits at five engineering schools through the country.

In Spring 2007, the students formed Impact Education, LLC to commercialize the kits. They entered the University of Maryland Business Plan Competition and won first place in the Undergraduate Division. They have also obtained seed funding from the Impact Pre-Seed Fund.

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