High school students are invited to participate in a highly experiential course teaching key concepts of engineering entrepreneurship focused on the theme of the “Internet of Things”. Students will learn how to think like an entrepreneur, develop a commercialization plan for an invention of your own design, and gain hands-on skills in developing electronic and digital prototypes. Topics covered include entrepreneurial team dynamics, technology and strategic assessments, creativity and business model development, communication to investors and technology managers, and technology plan development.
Students will spend four weeks at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where they will develop core skills in collegiate environments. Program activities may include field visits to the Viterbi Startup Garage Incubator in the heart of Silicon Beach and the USC Center for Advanced Manufacturing, as well as interview sessions with real entrepreneurs. The course culminates in a final “Demo Day” presentation.
This program was previously called the Summer Commercialization and Innovation High School Institute (SCIHI).
Trina Gregory is a senior lecturer for the Information Technology Program under the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC teaching technology, programming, and mobile classes. She created and oversees the Mobile App Development minor. After getting a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics-Computer Science from UCSD, she worked full-time in the computer science field for over 12 years. She received a master’s degree in Computer Science from USC. For the past 12 years, Trina has taught classes in Java, Python, and Objective-C (iOS) programming, web publishing, information technology, and mobile apps. She is also the associate director of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Viterbi School of Engineering teaching and leading entrepreneurship projects.
Dr. Arpi Mardirossian is a teaching faculty for the Information Technology Program in the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC. She has designed the curriculum for and teaches courses in the following topics: data analytics, machine learning, statistics, entrepreneurship, and user experience design. Previously, she was the Director of Mobile Product Strategy for DIRECTV where she led cross-functional teams in developing innovative mobile products and strategic prototypes. Arpi earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Occidental College. She earned her master’s degree in Operations Research and Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California.
I found that the SCIHI program really sparked my interest in mechanical engineering. Although I’m probably not going to pursue it in college, I started a couple of my own little projects after the program. Learning about circuitry and microcontrollers also helped me understand a bit more about how guitars and amplifiers actually work, which was very insightful. I loved being able to visit the startup garage and seeing real tech startups and being able to talk with the founders. Lastly, during the course I had a lot of fun researching and creating my own project and actually making a working prototype.
Sean B., 2018 Student
I enjoyed SCIHI more than I have any other camp. The process of applying was super easy and the program was amazing. I loved how much I learned about things other than just innovation. I learned about robotics, entrepreneurship, partnerships and so much more. The instructors were also amazing and super helpful. They guided me through the whole process of creating a product and helped me in more ways than I thought possible. They were collaborative and gave me more ideas to help me expand my views. So many guest speakers also came in to talk about their company’s and give us an insight of all the different insights and processes. Overall, I thought this program was very well organized, helpful and a great way to learn new things. I am very glad that I did this program and I will take all the things that I learned and apply it to my everyday life.
Jamie L., 2018 Student
I loved the program at SCIHI and learned so much in only a matter of 3 weeks. I learned about entrepreneurship and engineering by getting a hands-on experience at designing my very own product. I learned about the importance of getting customer feedback for any idea for a business and was able to create a great pitch. I also had a great time learning how to solder and working with different sensors to create an IOT product. Overall, my experience at SCIHI was amazing and I will definitely use the skills I learned to help me in the future.
Hakop K., 2018 Student
My experience during the SCIHI program has broadened my knowledge about creating a product or service that can change the lives of others. In the duration of this program, I was immersed in learning how to apply customer discovery, electronics, engineering, and computer science to create a viable commercial product. This course highlights the importance of trial and error while creating and designing a product. The faculty facilitated a positive learning environment which contributed to my exceptional experience in this program. The concepts and skills that I have acquired from this experience are applicable to any subject, field of study, or job I could ever immerse myself in.