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Undergraduates to showcase innovative solutions at virtual symposium in December

The College of Innovation and Design’s VIP 2019 Symposium

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine announced Boise State as an honorable mention in its competition to inform the Symposium on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education.

The College of Innovation and Design’s VIP program provides students with the opportunity to earn credit by working on faculty-led, interdisciplinary teams tackling ambitious projects. Designed for students to gain skills over multiple semesters, projects range from robotics to bio-luminescent bacteria to working on the local housing crisis. The university will hold a virtual student showcase from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. The event – which will be an informal, drop-in setting – is a chance for undergraduate teams to share academic posters that document their learning and progress.

Boise State’s Donna Llewellyn, executive director of the Institute for Inclusive and Transformative Scholarship, and Jillana Finnegan, College of Innovation and Design director of programs, co-authored a proposal with vertically integrated projects (VIP) leaders at Georgia Tech. Their entry, “Holistic, Silo-free Campuses through Vertically Integrated Projects,” proposed “the widespread implementation of scalable VIP to engage all students in authentic, experiential learning in which they can apply academic knowledge to real-world, unsolved problems while also learning the professional skills necessary to be able to implement their impactful solutions.”

The VIP model was developed at Georgia Tech, and Boise State was an early adopter in 2016. There are now more than 37 institutions with VIP programs throughout 18 U.S. states and in 12 countries. Boise State students looking for experiences and credits for research, teamwork and hands-on project work are encouraged to contact Llewellyn or Finnegan.