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Michigan Design Prize finalists announced, include three student groups enrolled in UCS’ Career and Technology Education academy
Michigan Design Prize finalists announced, include three student groups enrolled in UCS’ Career and Technology Education academy
Posted on 09/13/2021
Students working together on computer.Three student groups from Stevenson Manufacturing, Automation and Design Engineering (Stevenson MADE) have been named finalists in the Michigan Design Prize challenge. The three student groups submitted a design concept that aligned with the outlined challenge instructions, which were to “design a game, interactive craft or project, or toy that helps create a fun and meaningful engagement with friends or family during times of social distancing.” 

Stevenson MADE design thinking teacher, Mark LaCombe, brought the Michigan Design Prize challenge to his 2020-21 freshman level design thinking students to help teach students how to collaborate and effectively work in teams while also highlighting the engineering design process. 

“As students complete the design thinking course, they become more aware of the importance of having a process for innovation and creating new ideas,” LaCombe said. “They have a plan for how to effectively work together to develop these concept designs.”

The students recognized as finalists in the challenge and their projects include:
Design Team 1: Samantha Fenwick, Jada Blue, and Skylar Hempel
Concept: Isolation Roomz, with a purpose of having something to enjoy while not having the option to be in contact with others.

Design Team 2: Mario Gjini, Yousif Habsh and Connor Harrison
Concept: Tag Bracelet, to allow people to actively engage in hands free tag amongst large groups. 

Design Team 3: Max Monig, Joshua Abbott and Andrew Bogusz
Concept: Crossroads, a new game concept that would follow social distancing guidelines and prevent the spread of COVID-19 while allowing friends and family to still connect. 

As finalists, each student group will meet with professional designers who will mentor them and help further develop the group’s concept by brainstorming improvements and creating a professional level concept design board. 

Stevenson MADE sophomore, Samantha Fenwick, said that her group felt extremely proud of this achievement. “To be named finalists is a win in its own way,” said Fenwick. 

Meanwhile, Andrew Bogusz, a Stevenson MADE sophomore and Michigan Design Challenge finalist, said his team’s goal in being a finalist is to improve the design to the best of their ability. Bogusz added, “we could possibly even try to market it with a big company if we want to go big with it.”

The timeline for when the final winners will be announced for the Michigan Design Prize challenge is to be determined, as the Michigan Design Council must wait for the finalists’ meetings with professional designers to conclude entirely. All finalists of the challenge will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in Ann Arbor, Mich. to be recognized.