Last Wednesday, UMBC’s ProveIt! competition announced its two winning initiatives. After two rounds of application submissions and extensive pitching of their ideas, 3D UMBC and ClubHub each received $10,000 in funding in order to implement change on campus.
“We started, I think, with about 13 ideas. After the second submission, it was cut down to five,” said Jonelle McKenzie, a senior psychology major and this year’s ProveIt! coordinator.
This year, the two ProveIt! winners were both technology-focused. 3D UMBC, an-all freshmen group spanning various engineering and computer science majors, wants to introduce 3D printers to campus. However, their idea comes with a twist: they aim to create the printers from e-waste.
“We’re basically trying to show people that you can take something that you think is nothing and make it into something amazing” said Aniebiet Jacob, a member of the group and computer science major.
The opportunity for ProveIt! came by chance, according to Jacob.
“I was like, browsing the SGA website when I saw a thing for ProveiT. Then I saw a couple of posters through campus, so that’s how I found out about it. I think it was like, 36 hours before the deadline for ProveiT when we decided to go for it,” she said. The idea initially came from a shared interest and desire to create such a project among the group members.
“There are a lot of applications in a range of areas of research, but there are also other applications, such as in the art community, like making models for students and things like that” said member Bridget Anger, who is pursuing a chemical engineering major.
UMBC already has 3D printers – one in the Biological Sciences department and another in Engineering. However, the students in 3D UMBC aim to introduce the waste-made printers to other academic departments and later expand their availability, potentially making them available for use in the library.
Meanwhile, ClubHub, the second ProveiT winner of the year, aims to reorganize and expand the ways in which students connect to clubs and other organizations on campus. The idea is to introduce a mobile app to not only connect students to organizations, but to also facilitate interaction and management among organization members.
“You can run a club through ClubHub, and have all your members in the app. You can send notifications, set reminders, change dates and stuff like that,” said Jasraj Singh, a sophomore pursuing an information systems major, who is the group’s head of operations.
The idea came from member’s own experiences as part of students organizations, as well as a clear need for more connection to campus events, particularly those of smaller scale. In order to remedy that, ClubHub aims to create a more friendly user interface to be used by clubs and students alike. Additionally, they aim to shake things up in order areas:
“One of the big things we’re working on is getting QR codes for Involvement Fest. So instead of writing down your email, you’d scan a QR code and get put on a ClubHub list for that organization” said Singh.
According to Singh, the ClubHub members will work on programming and developing through the summer. A beta version of the app is expected to be available next fall.
A number of campus changes over the years were implemented with the program and its funding throughout the years. The Garden was one such implementation, a winner from the 2014 competition. Retriever Treasures, another winner, collects unwanted items during move-outs, selling them the following semester in a yard sale.
Some of the most well-known products of the ProveiT! program are the solar-powered tables by the RAC, the Commons, and Harbor Hall. They were introduced in 2015 and promoted by the SOLARetrievers in the competition, and ultimately won.