By Edward Cardenas

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Students from the Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn have spent the past two weeks in summer camp at Lawrence Technological University learning how use some of the latest design programs to create their own products.

The 10 students, ranging in age from 10th – 12th grades, were the first to take part in collaborative course between The Innovation Factory and Lawrence Tech’s Transportation and Industrial Design program where students learned how to use software to create a 3-D model of a product they wanted to create.

“It’s really a compliment to both the instructors and the students that you get this quality of work in a two-week time frame,” said Jay Richardson, technical principal at Sustainable Water Works!, to the students. “This demonstrates the power of an idea and the ability to translate that idea into something that is pretty real.

In addition creating a unique product, the students also researched potential competitors, developed a business plan, and on Thursday presented their business plans to a panel of industrial experts.

Students used CATIA Imagine and Shape module to turn sketches of their products into a 3-D model  of the product. Organizers plan on actually creating a model of the product with a 3-D printer.

Organizers said the course was ” to encourage students to think like entrepreneurs and learn how to follow through on their concepts for products.”

They also received words of support to pursue their dreams and there is not age limit on being an inventor.

“There is nothing like being called an inventor, there is nothing else like it,” said Andre Clemons, technical senior manager at Dassault Systemes.

Some of the proposed products included a gaming controller which fits over a smart phone; a scanner that converts black and white photos to color and a night stand that is cat-proof.

The partnership between the Innovation Factory, which is an incubator for business and innovation in TechTown, and Lawrence Tech, may also lead to a class at the Henry Ford Academy, which is located at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield village in Dearborn.


Leave a Reply