MIMIC Project and New NSF

Grant Featured at Conference

The Making Industry Meaningful In College project (MIMIC) at Illinois Valley Community College was featured in a presentation at a national conference hosted by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Two IVCC professors gave presentations at the Advanced Technological Education Principal Investigator’s Conference in Washington D.C. Oct. 28-31. Jim Gibson, program director of electronics, and Rose Marie Lynch, communications instructor, publicized the MIMIC project and reviewed the highlights of their two National Science Foundation grants in a showcase.

The MIMIC project teams IVCC students in engineering design, electronics and business into student companies to design, produce, market and sell products on campus. In 2005, IVCC was awarded a three-year grant totaling $230,000 from the National Science Foundation to make the one-semester MIMIC project the focal point or capstone for the two-year technical programs. Dorene Perez, program director of computer aided design/computer aided engineering, was the Principal Investigator on the grant; Gibson and Lynch were co-Principal Investigators.

Under that grant, which ended in July 2008, the IVCC professors developed a number of resources to help teachers at community colleges and high schools develop multi-disciplinary projects similar to MIMIC. Those resources were showcased at the conference and are available through the NSF supported Manufacturing Education Resource Center (MERC) Online website as well as the IVCC website.

At the conference showcase the IVCC professors also introduced their new project, a three-year recruiting program funded by a $520,000 National Science Foundation grant. That project, which began in August 2008, focuses on increasing awareness of and interest in engineering careers among middle school and high school students, adults and women in the IVCC district.

In addition to offering project-based activities and camps for young people, some grant activities will specifically target young women and also adults considering a career change.

The grant team is beginning to work with areas schools to organize technology clubs, to create leadership teams of high school students interested in technical careers, and to offer a Taste of Engineering Careers course to high school students with college credit.

Koshu Jagasia, IVCC English professor, also attended the ATE conference and participated in a workshop on evaluation. She serves as the internal evaluator on the new grant team which includes Perez as Principal Investigator; Gibson, Lynch and Sue Caley Opsal as Co-Principal Investigators. Caley Opsal is an anatomy and physiology professor at IVCC.