What an amazing past month that we had at the Wond’ry! From kicking off a new partnership with IBM via the launch of the IBM Watson Hub for high technology and computing, to hosting our 2nd Annual Mini-Maker Faire that welcomed 3,000+ guests from across the Nashville area and beyond, the Wond’ry is buzzing with excitement and innovation!
Students, faculty, staff and even the broader Nashville community are coming to the Wond’ry to explore, innovate, tinker, invent, and make. Creative collisions are occurring and it’s been amazing to see what is possible when one opens their mind, tries something new, and is provided with the tools and mentorship needed to turn that passion project into a reality. These efforts have been further bolstered by the newest addition to our Makerspace, a laser cutter! This new piece of equipment is already in high demand with students, faculty, and staff coming to etch, burn, and cut their prototypes and projects. For those who have yet to see it, we welcome you to come join us at 6pm on October 31st for an introductory workshop! Perhaps you can even make an innovative Halloween costume using it!
Also coming up this month, we are proud to announce that we are hosting a “Future of Women of Color in Tech” seminar. On October 17th, leading voices of Nashville’s diversity-in-tech conversation will be coming to the Wond’ry to have a “fireside” chat on ways we can all improve our future. This event is open to everyone and we welcome you to attend! It will certainly be an enlightening and engaging conversation.
Have a cool project idea? An innovative startup you’ve been mulling over? Just want to meet new people from across campus? Come to the Wond’ry! We are here for you!
Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry
Featured Upcoming Events:
Ever wanted to build a robot who responds to your voice commands? Our first TJBot series was a big hit, with over twenty participants taking the plunge into amateur robotics, led by Wond’ry Ambassador Mubarak Ganiyu (VU ’21). Our next round of workshops will begin with an info session and sign-up event on October 23, from 6:00-7:00 PM, on the 3rd floor of the Wond’ry. Come explore cognitive technologies and programming as you build your own TJBot. It’s all FREE and you get to keep your TJBot at the end! Space is limited, so sign up now!
That’s not the autumnal aroma of a bonfire you’re detecting at the Wond’ry this October… it’s our brand new laser cutter! Able to etch, burn, and cut just about anything, from wood to metal, we can’t wait to see what people will create with it. Join us on October 31 at 6:00 PM in our second floor Makerspace for an introductory workshop in how to use 2D CAD.
On October 17th at 12:30 PM, two of the leading voices of Nashville’s diversity in tech conversation–Daynise Joseph, Community Impact Manager at Google Fiber, and Fallon Wilson, Cofounder of Black in Tech Nashville–will host a fireside chat on the state of diversity and technology in Nashville and how to improve in the future.
Wond’ry Spotlight: WONDER BOT
We are proud to announce the newest addition to the Wond’ry team: the WONDER BOT. Created by Deanna Meador, the Wond’ry Assistant Director, this robot plays informational messages using multiple holographic displays. It combines the best of low-tech and hi-tech into a single package, merging art and technology in an engaging way. Planned enhancements to WONDER BOT include interactive features, mechanical gripping appendages, and chassis-decorating using our new laser cutter. Want to get involved? Come see us today!
Highlights from Recent Events:
The Wond’ry played host again this year to Make Nashville‘s Mini-Maker Faire! Over 3,000 visitors roamed the 79 booths and exhibits depicting everything from robotics to dress-making.
The event closed off portions of Garland Avenue to make room for exterior exhibits as well, including homemade hovercraft and a go-kart racing track.
This marks the second year the Nashville Mini-Maker Faire was hosted at the Wond’ry. Plans for next year’s Faire are already underway!
In collaboration with the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the Wond’ry was excited to welcome Gabby Rivera, author of Juliet Takes a Breath and head writer for Marvel Comics’ America, on the morning of September 25, following her keynote lecture at Sarratt the night before. An informal meet-and-greet breakfast and a writing workshop hosted at the Wond’ry provided attendees with the opportunity to speak with the celebrated author. In the workshop, student learned ways to introduce topics of inclusion, diversity, and queerness into their work. It was an amazing event and one we look to replicate in the future.
New at the Wond’ry is the IBM Watson Hub! In partnership with IBM, this Hub located in the Wond’ry’s Emerging Tech Lab will focus on creating and hosting workshops, seminars, and informational sessions on high technology ranging from Blockchain and Quantum Computing to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The partnership with IBM kicked off with a two-day grand opening ceremony hosted by Vanderbilt’s University School of Engineering, in collaboration with IBM’s Vice President of Global University Programs, Dr. Naguib Attia. We are excited for this partnership and are certain that it will provide for great experiential learning opportunities for our community.
In the News:
Our Pillar Programs:
In the Innovation Garage, an array of corporate sponsors partner with Vanderbilt student and faculty teams on cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary projects. The goal of this program is to identify disruptive and innovative solutions that improve industry all while providing unique opportunities for students to build their skills via real-world problem solving.
For aspiring Vanderbilt entrepreneurs, the Wond’ry offers a PreLaunch program that provides the foundational knowledge needed to successfully assess an idea, as well as a PostLaunch program aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs that are ready to learn the steps needed to launch a venture. These 7-week programs are now a part of Vanderbilt’s I-Corps Site program for STEM entrepreneurs that provides micro-grant funding from the NSF and access to the National I-Corps program.
The Social Innovation Program assists students, faculty, and staff with designing a business model that uses revenue to solve societal issues, from food deserts and poverty to education and affordable housing. Each year, the Wond’ry focuses on partnering with local and regional non-profit and government organizations to lend Vanderbilt’s mental capital in order to develop solutions.
From artist/music exhibits and speaker series to hackathons and business plan competitions, the Wond’ry hosts workshops, speakers, and events that cater to an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Past Versions of News from the Wond’ry:
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