Workshop Description

Making Industry Meaningful In College (MIMIC) is a multi-disciplinary project at Illinois Valley Community College that places students in engineering design, electronics and business into student "companies" to design, prototype, manufacture, market and sell products.  The one-semester project emphasizes teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.  MIMIC has been successful since the start, winning a Connections Award for Innovative Curriculum Integration in its first year.  Supported by a National Science Foundation grant from 2005 - 2008, MIMIC is a cost-effective and highly adaptable project model.

This workshop is designed for instructors and administrators in high schools and community colleges who are interested in establishing a simple, cost-effective multi-disciplinary project that engages students in simulated workplace experiences.  Workshop participants will learn to adapt the MIMIC model to include students from various disciplines and to organize and assess a similar project.

Workshop Objectives

Specific objectives will be adapted to the high school or community college.  General objectives might include the following.

Participants will

  • Learn to team students from a number of fields or courses to provide them with simulated workplace experiences.

  • Learn to organize a simple, cost-effective project that provides students with entrepreneurial experience in making products, providing a service, or developing a business.

  • Learn to effectively integrate workplace skills into a project.

Participants will develop their own project ideas and will emerge from the workshop with a plan for adapting the MIMIC model to their students and their college or high school setting. 

Resources Provided at Workshop

Participants will receive the following materials:

  • Teacher's Resource Manual for Adapting the MIMIC Project, which includes
    - A description of MIMIC and other spin-off projects
    - Ideas for adapting the MIMIC model
    - Steps in adapting the MIMIC model
    - Sample forms for project organization, student team meetings, product approval and pricing, and financial/budget forms.
    - Sample assessments for evaluating students and projects
    - An intellectual property agreement
    - A description of a Leadership Team for students and paperwork and forms utilized in organizing, training and publicizing a team

  • A handbook of modules or exercises for integrating workplace skills into courses or projects

  • MIMIC Student Guidebook, which includes
    - An explanation of the project
    - Student expectations
    - Sample copies of paperwork utilized by student teams

  • Project plans submitted by participants in previous workshops.