Location: 214 Yosemite Hall
Opening hours: Monday through Thursday 10:30-2:30
MJC has a brand new maker space, a collaborative area where people can create, invent, build, and test using traditional craft making methods and new-technology. Capabilities include 3D printing, laser cutting, vinyl printing, circuit building, and sewing. The space has supplies and tools for art and textile projects, comic creation, and prototyping.
Our Mission Statement...
MJC’s Innovation Center offers courses and a space to prepare students to do good work by
1. teaching soft skills like design thinking, managing uncertainty, and empathetic problem solving within the community
2. equipping students to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations
3. training them in modern prototyping skills
4. giving faculty the opportunity to offer project-based learning experiences in the context of their courses
The Innovation Center is also a classroom.
The Biomass Research Workshop convened in August, 2023. For three intensive weeks, MJC Student Fellows researched and wrote up challenges related to the development of a local biomass industry. We heard from and interviewed community members who have knowledge about ways the biomass gets sources, converted and repurposed. The most important and hardest part of innovation is finding the right problems to solve, and that was our mission.
- 27 interviews, 10 guest speakers, and 2 field trips
- A problem bank with 150 challenges related to bottlenecks in four “buckets”
- 80 of those challenges were developed into paragraph descriptions
- A letter to the MJC president
- A presentation and slide set about what we did and learned
- A documentary video
- Several ongoing research projects
The workshop grew out of MJC’s engagement in the Stanislaus2030 initiative which identified strategies for strengthening our regional economy including growing local bioindustrial manufacturing activities. MJC is now a collaborator in the BioEconomy, Agriculture, and Manufacturing (BEAM) Initiative catalyzed by this planning effort and is working with others across the region to advance innovations that transform biomass into valuable and sustainable products.
We also have a human-centered design class, WKFSK300 or "Innovation U," that teaches a method of problem-solving with a focus on community issues. Participants address problems ranging from online learning difficulties, life skill acquisition, heat exhaustion of farm animals to challenges faced by the unhoused like access to dental care and fresh food. This new course is the first of its kind in the California Community College system.
WKFSK300 description: Participating students will explore problems in the
community, develop a language and skill set to enable problem solving in the innovation and design arenas, and develop a solution idea in the form of an inspirational prototype which will all be documented in an invention notebook. They will activate empathy every step of the way as a strategic critical thinking move to understand the stakeholder’s perspective. Students will practice job skills including teamwork, user discovery, data synthesis, managing uncertainty, testing, failing forward, and iteration. They will be introduced to multiple academic disciplines and learn the value of working on an interdisciplinary team when solving unique community challenges.
Participants of the Summer 2021 Innovation U Workshop
"I really liked being able to work together with the other peers in my group. Brainstorming and idea thinking was really fun also! I was able to better my communication and social skills throughout the whole process." -Innovation U. participant (Summer 2021)
Want to learn more?
To learn more about Invention Education and the goals of the workshop and course, watch these videos: