Mimic Mimics Academic Excellence Yet Again

Matthew Klein and Josh Woodward

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Making Industry Meaningful in College (MIMIC) allows students to pursue real world opportunities while taking ownership of their original work.

Being 25 years old, MIMIC is nothing newat IVCC. The program’s instructor Dorene Data states, “Students are getting real world experiences.”

MIMIC students complete 100 percent of the project, and most, if not all, of the process takes place at IVCC. Students start from scratch in designing, building and marketing their product.

The program was first offered by Data and Alice Steljes, an accounting instructor, now retired. The first MIMIC fair was held in 1995 and featured two keychains and a foam beverage holder. Since then, MIMIC has allowed students to freely have ideas for creativethinking.

Since the program was created, it has even gained attention on a national level. A MIMIC project from six years ago was named a final-izer for the Bellwether Award. Data recently travelled to San Antonio to accept this Bell-wether Legacy Award.

MIMIC organizes these events, but it’s the students involved in the program who make it possible. Students team up from business, engineering, and electronics classes.

Data emphasizes that these projects are completely student-driven, no matter the outcome. Even if an idea fails, the key takeaway is to learn from their mistakes and work as a team.

Recently, Mike Straith of Marseilles helped create an LED bag set to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth. They created and sold five sets.

Currently, Dalton Pavilic of Streator and Jennifer Skaggs of Compton are finalizing their product, a wine bottle tiki torch, that they’ll be selling at this year’s fair. It even has cup holders halfway up for convenience.

Events such as the Edible Car Contest have taken place since 2006 to help develop better hands-on problem-solving skills and criticalthinking.

“We knew that designing vehicles from food would challenge students to solve problems and be creative, skills that are critical in engineering,” said Data.

The annual fair will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.on Wednesday, April 17 in the Cafeteria Foyer.Students are currently producing their products and deciding pricing.

The fair will feature five different products, assuming they are all successful in the production stage. Some examples of previous products include soda can holders, light up chess sets, solar powered fountains, and a pirate battleship game.

More information can be found at www. ivcc.edu/mimic.

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