I3 Invention and Inclusive Innovation Learning Community


Welcome to the Invention and Inclusive Innovation (i3) Learning Community

In partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Lemelson-MIT Program

Calling All Creative Problem Solvers 

Do you want to create innovative solutions to problems that impact your community?

Do you want to develop critical skills to be successful in the workforce? 

Do you want to make connections with local professionals, business people and community leaders?

Sierra College is one of four California Community Colleges selected to develop a new program shaping the future of invention education with an emphasis on equity. The program is modeled after the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams. The InvenTeams are groups of students, educators and mentors that develop technological solutions to real-world problems.

Who We are Looking For

Everyone is welcome to participate from all fields and backgrounds. No prior experience is necessary. Now more than ever, we need creative problem solvers to envision a better future for all of us. The innovation economy has been historically exclusive but we recognize true innovation removes barriers. In the spirit of inclusive innovation, we are encouraging women and students from underrepresented groups to join. Bring your valuable perspectives and desire to create positive change in your community to the i3 Learning Community.

What to Expect

You will work with the same group of students during your time in the learning community. You and your team will go through the entire invention and innovation process, including:

  • researching challenges experienced by your community
  • conceptualizing systemic or technological solutions
  • developing working prototypes
  • responding to user feedback
  • learning to bring your invention to market

Support will be provided from faculty, mentors and community partners as you build your skills and strengthen your confidence as an innovator.

When you participate in this program, you will receive: 

  • Scholarship opportunities upon completion
  • Mentorship from Sierra College faculty, industry experts and community leaders
  • Support and friendship from peers in the learning community
  • Networking opportunities
  • Certificate of Participation from the Chancellor’s Office and Lemelson-MIT, which will be recognized statewide

Program Overview

Classes will be hybrid, including both on-ground and online learning. We will be meeting in the newly renovated Sierra College MakerSpace (N Building) on the Rocklin campus.

For the Fall 2021 semester, classes will be held on Fridays from 10am – 3pm at the MakerSpace. To participate in the program, students will be required to enroll in all three classes concurrently (5 units total). 

By mid-semester, teams will demonstrate their progress and gather important feedback through a mid-term review. By the end of the semester, teams will present and showcase a working prototype of their invention.

Required Courses / Friday Schedule

Time Class/Activity Units Description
10am-12pm BUS 243 Social Entrepreneurship 3 Introduction to the practice of identifying and designing sustainable, socially-minded enterprises
12pm-1pm Working lunch with local business leaders - Networking opportunity. Lunch provided.
1pm-2pm BUS 159/859 New World of Work / 21st Century Skills 2 Interactive lessons designed to teach transferable skills needed for success in the modern workforce including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, digital literacy, empathy and resilience
2pm-3pm BI 804 Rapid Prototyping 0 Hands-on exposure to processes used to fabricate prototypes

How to Apply

Contact Connie Raynor (Success Center support specialist) at craynor@sierracollege.edu or (916) 660-7456 to enroll. 

Donors and Community Partnerships

We will be establishing and expanding partnerships with people in the community, CSUs and UCs to advance career pathways in STEM, student mentoring, networking opportunities, and partnerships with high schools that expand dual enrollment.

Contact Amy Schulz (Dean of Career, Continuing, and Technical Education) at aschulz1@sierracollege.edu if you want to support or partner with our program. 

The Invention and Inclusion Innovation (i3) initiative will empower students from diverse backgrounds who might not see themselves in an entrepreneurial role and prepare them for an evolving and innovative future. We are excited about providing our students with this opportunity and for the opportunity to include our community partners in this initiative.

- Willy Duncan, Sierra College Superintendent/President

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