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Innovation Engineering Minor
University of Maine
Recognizing that The University of Maine can be a key participant in the new Creative Economy of Maine, as described by Governor Baldacci and other state leaders of all political parties, a group of interdisciplinary faculty members is collaborating on a new minor in Innovation Engineering. It will begin with this introductory course (INT 280 Innovation Engineering) and lead to opportunities for students to integrate a range of academic backgrounds from art to business and engineering with innovative engineering and business savvy and team-building skills. The goal is to help them recognize their potential to implement creative and marketable ideas as entrepreneurs, workers, and citizens living in Maine as well as “jump start” their active contributions by helping to bridge the gap between classroom and community.
Students will learn how innovation has been defined and analyzed historically, study lives of major innovators, learn how to generate and test new ideas, and define the correct audience and beneficiaries for specific creative ideas (whether school board, town council, peers, corporation, or small business). Students will be asked to address the human values and potential economic and social impact of one of their ideas, and to discuss different persuasive techniques that will help their idea prevail in the marketplace of ideas. Along the way, they will examine ideas from marketing, rhetoric, and science about how ideas are generated, tested, and marketed, and how creative people in their generation can contribute to positive social change. This content will be grounded in case studies, which help students apply academic concepts to the real world and develop analytic skills in contexts that require analysis, synthesis, and ethical decision-making. Team process and team-work will be emphasized, as well as specific skills and repeated practice in writing persuasive e-mails, letters, memos, and presentations.
Civic Learning Goals
Darrell W. Donahue, Ph.D.
Margaret A. Lukens,, Ph.D.
Elizabeth (Liz) Downing
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