Archive for September, 2011

College quest continues!

September 22nd, 2011 No comments

Last Friday, I had the distinct pleasure of delivering 125 college applications — representing the outstanding efforts of 25 IIT Boeing Scholars — to the Chicago Scholars office downtown. Through our new partnership with Chicago Scholars, these 25 seniors have been invited to participate in the Fifth Annual Onsite Admissions Forum, a live college admissions event attended by almost 70 colleges that enables students to advocate on behalf of their university applications. Thank you, Chicago Scholars, for your partnership, and congratulations, seniors, on applying to college!

Program Director Marya Spont delivers 125 college applications, from 25 IIT Boeing seniors, to Chicago Scholars.


And, in case our juniors have been feeling ignored…

This coming Monday, September 26, from 6pm to 8pm, Willard Dix, Director of College Transitioning Programming for Chicago Scholars and former dean of admissions at Amherst College, returns to IIT to present “Preparing Now for Your Future in College” to our juniors, as well as to their parents/guardians, siblings, and “plus one” friends! We booked a whole auditorium for this very important primer and will offer light refreshments.

Don’t forget to RSVP, print out your parking permit, and make sure you know how to find us on campus in the MTCC Auditorium at 3201 S. State! In preparation for Monday’s event, juniors should review the following:

We also look forward to seeing some of you tomorrow at “A Chemistry Renaissance,” the 2011 Kilpatrick lecture with Dr. George Whitesides of Harvard University. Please RSVP online and, even if you are unable to join us for the event, check out Dr. Whitesides’s recent TED talk: “A Lab the Size of a Postage Stamp.”

Other upcoming events are listed online on our in-progress fall 2011 calendar: Bookmark it, review, and RSVP at will. :)


Marya Spont
Program Director

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It’s time…to apply to college!

September 14th, 2011 No comments

IIT Boeing Scholars Jonnathan, Kennady, and Imani are excited to spend their Saturday working on college applications with volunteer Connie Ma and Program Intern Christopher Stovall (at center)!

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A reminder to seniors to visit us in Perlstein Hall 101 tomorrow (Thursday) to submit your college application materials for the Chicago Scholars Onsite Admissions Forum! For the Onsite, the deadline is 9pm.

For the other colleges you’re applying to? We’re here to help you whenever and however we can!

Much appreciation to volunteers Laila Alamuddin, Tanya Cabrera, Jerry Doyle, Connie Ma, Ruth Martin, Christopher Stovall, Bryan Woods, and Terrika Worthon for taking time out of their busy schedules —as college counselors, admissions professionals, non-profit administrators, and university students — to join us on campus the last few weeks to help the IIT Boeing seniors on their college applications and essays! Some volunteers brought 18 years of counseling experience, others brought amazing pairs of proof-reading eyes — and all made inspiring contributions!

And, of course, congratulations to all of our seniors for completing this stage of what can be an extraordinarily arduous process! I can’t wait to learn what fruits your hard work and dedication bring.


Marya Spont
Program Director

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Great ideas from great students: Adrian and Team JAGAD win IIT’s “Engineering 200″ competition

September 9th, 2011 No comments

Following their completion of the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy’s 2011 Summer Session, 18 outstanding Scholars were selected to join incoming and returning IIT students for “Engineering 200: Introduction to the Entrepreneurial Mindset” — a two-week IIT short-course that provided students with a framework of entrepreneurial skills to guide their future creation and innovation. This course was offered by IIT Armour College of Engineering Professors Mark Snyder, David Gatchell, Paco Ruiz, and Victor Perez-Luna, and fully funded through generous support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Kern Family Foundation.

“Engineering 200″ participants received two college credits for their work and, as part of the course’s concluding competition, had the opportunity to work in teams to develop and propose entrepreneurial projects.

Please welcome guest blogger and IIT Boeing Scholar Adrian, sharing Team JAGAD’s winning idea and problem-solving process!

Adrian writes:


The way things are now.

Our group was charged with the task of improving sustainability on the IIT campus. Our goal was to create a viable product that would do so.

So we asked ourselves: What is the actual problem?

We looked around the IIT campus, and realized that recycling bins were usually empty. This and other factors suggested that recycling bins were not used often. Our goal was to find a way to increase use of recycling bins. We did this by giving the users (in this case, IIT students/faculty) an incentive to recycle.

We decided to propose implementing a “gamification system” onto IIT recycling bins. A gamification system is basically a reward system that rewards the user for exercising a course of action. In our case, we wanted IIT students/faculty to recycle more. Points would be awarded to a person’s IIT ID card depending on how much and what they recycled. The points would then be accumulated to purchase free rewards.

Adrian (center) and fellow IIT Boeing Scholars Amrianna and Dillon.

Our idea is nothing new. We’ve seen it done before, from Coca Cola rewards to Disney rewards to Chase rewards. Many big name companies have implemented the gamification system. Our research tells us that it has never been done before on recycling bins, and we want to try it. Since the scale and area of our project is relatively small (the IIT campus), we believe giving rewards for recycling could be viable and affordable. Rewards could also include sponsorship from nearby food companies (Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, etc.). Monthly revenue could be generated from placing advertisements on our recycling bin — since we are hoping it will become a point of interest.

We don’t have any statistics yet to prove our product works, but we want to test it. We want to compare its accumulation of trash compared to that of normal recycling bins. We will do so by placing one of our recycling bins near a normal recycling bin and record the results over the course of weeks or months. For now, we are working to improve the design of our product to be simple, easy, and effective.


IIT Boeing Scholar
Junior at Whitney Young Magnet High School

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