Students become entrepreneurs at Roxbury Innovation Center

August 6, 2018

In the Roxbury Innovation Center offices on the second floor of the Bruce Bolling Municipal Building, three dozen students are imagining being stranded on an island in the Pacific Ocean with nothing but cardboard, plastic cups, toothpicks, scissors and glue to make any tools or articles needed for survival.

It’s not a circumstance many are likely to find themselves in, but rather an exercise meant to help them think about problem-solving and product design. One student fashions a pair of cardboard sandals.

“We’re teaching them through design challenges to get them thinking about how to design products,” says Herb Lozano, events and marketing coordinator for the Roxbury Innovation Center. “They actually have to create products that really function.”

The middle and high school students are engaged in one of the Roxbury Innovation Center’s two-week summer program sessions, learning about computer-aided design and other aspects of product development.

“They learn about the various stages of designing and testing a product,” Lozano says. “Every student will leave with a portfolio that has market research, a digital design of a prototype and an actual prototype.”

During the two weeks, students have access to many of the resources available to the adult entrepreneurs who attend classes at RIC or participate in their pre-accelerator program, a three-month crash course in business development.

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