Innovation Showcase

Iowa State is building a culture of innovation that includes and inspires students from every college. Innovation happens here, and we’re celebrating it during the annual IGNITE Innovation Showcase.

IGNITE is the annual showcase of student creativity. The Student Innovation Center will be hosting the innovative work happening across campus through displays, exhibitions, panels, presentations, receptions, and celebrations!

Join us for this 4-day event, April 30th – May 3rd, to witness the incredible power of creativity running through the DNA of Iowa State.

Utilize our IGNITE 2024 Digital Media Kit to make your showcase a success!

Interactive Expo

Join us Thursday, May 2nd from 2 PM- 5 PM for an Interactive Expo as part of IGNITE. We will host speakers, treats, and hands-on activities guests can enjoy. See below for the complete schedule or to request to showcase.

Innovation Challenge Competition

Event Date & Time Location Description
Innovation Challenge 2024 Finalist Presentations Tuesday, April 30 – 11:00 AM- 12:15 PM First Floor, Multipurpose Space Competing finalist teams present their innovative solutions to a panel of judges to earn a share of $15,000 in early stage seed funding.
2023 Winning Teams Project Presentations Tuesday, April 30 – 1:15- 2:00 PM First Floor, Multipurpose Space Winning Innovation Challenge 2023 teams will share their projects and progress from the past year as they engaged in developmental activities.
Innovation Challenge 2024 Winners Announcement by President Wintersteeen Thursday, May 2 – 4:00 PM Stepatorium Winning Innovation Challenge 2024 teams will be announced and celebrated during the IGNITE Interactive Expo.


Showcase Date & Time Location Description
Bicycle Studio Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 3 Basement – Room 0256 & 1st Floor middle Atrium Students in the Bicycle Studio will research the history of the bicycle to learn what it is, and find innovative ways to rethink what a bicycle could be. Then, through learning woodworking, metalworking, and more, groups will manufacture their own fully functional bicycle by the end of the term.
VRAC Research in Emerging Technologies Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 Basement – Atrium Space Research project posters from VRAC, a research center focused on emerging technologies, describe projects ranging from adaptation to VR cybersickness to teams making riskier decisions than individuals, helping people make good decisions when facing extreme heat.
PRISUM Solar Car Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 | Presentation, Thursday 2 – 5 PM Ground level – Outside East Entrance Come look at and learn about a full-sized solar vehicle designed and built here at Iowa State. We compete at the 1600+ mile American Solar Challenge from Tennessee to Wyoming.
Ecologies of Care II Exhibition Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 1st Floor – Room 1118 College of Design showcases will be highlighting students’ creative talent and innovative solutions for promoting and preserving the environment.
IMSE Capstone – IE 441 Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 | Presentation Friday at 4 PM 1st Floor – East Multipurpose Space Industrial Engineering Capstone industry projects poster presentation
Made in Iowa Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 | Presentation Thursday 2-5 PM 1st Floor – Under Jumbotron This interdisciplinary College of Design studio engaged students in ongoing research to develop lower carbon 3D printed concrete made from local waste materials such as ground decommissioned wind turbines and corn stover ash.
IE 348: Design Cut Weld Design Project Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 1st Floor – West Atrium Each lab group had a 2ft x 2ft steel sheet to use to design and build a 3D steel object.
IE 361: Statistical Quality Assurance Poster Session Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 | Presentation Tuesday at 4 PM 1st Floor – East Multipurpose Space College of Engineering poster presentation on statistical analyses and strategies for client production processes.
Apparel, Merchandising and Design: In the Fashion Archive Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 | Presentation Thursday at 12:40 PM-3:25 PM 1st Floor – Stepatorium Border Platforms College of Human Sciences AMD 356 students will present garment/mood boards and garments from the Textile and Clothing Museum.
Tall Pines Medical Center – Hualapai Nation Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 2nd Floor – outside 2260 College of Design students were challenged to design a Critical Access Hospital for a rural, medically underserved community. They were encouraged to explore design solutions that promote patient-centered care, utilize sustainable building practices and integrate seamlessly into the surrounding community.” Their project “Focused on the needs of a rural, indigenous population and included an interior aesthetic that incorporates natural materials and plants.”
Duluth 2070 Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 2nd Floor – Room 2260 The studio has been focused on speculative future designs for the City of Duluth in 2070 with special considerations for climate change, migration, and resilience.
The Workplace of Tomorrow Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 3 2nd floor – Room 2260 This exhibition is the culmination of an interdisciplinary design studio that explores the intersections of well-being, technology, society, and inclusivity in the design of future knowledge-based work environments.
The Great American Rail-Trail Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 3 2nd floor – Room 2260 Students in this interdisciplinary design studio have explored the Great American Rail-Trail at multiple scales. The work on display focuses on the Great American Rail-Trail in our backyard, as it moves across Boone County, IA. The work explores the multiple functions and dimensions of the trail corridor.
The earth is a tree full of Poems: Loudreading fictions, forms, and futures in the Caribbean Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 3 2nd floor – Room 2260 Students reflected, researched, and designed narrative architectures, landscapes, interiors, publications, artifacts, and installations that engaged with questions of presentation and representation, sustainability, resilience, social entrepreneurship, and future imaginaries in the archipelago of Puerto Rico.
Advanced Color Studio Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 3 2nd floor – Room 2260 Individual projects on color theory and application. Multi-disciplinary team project applying color knowledge to redevelop an existing building into a luxury boutique hotel in study abroad in Costa Rica.
Landscape Architecture 478 Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 3 2nd Floor – 2260 View the wonderful award-winning project on Trauma-Informed Design!
Branding the Future Workplace Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 2nd floor – Northside of Room 2260 How will brands and the working environment change in 15 years? In this project, students speculate on how existing brands will evolve by 2040. In groups of two, students develop a brand and experiential graphics package, which has been provided to Yongyeon Cho’s DSN S 546 Workplace of Tomorrow course. The exhibit consists of excerpts from the brand and graphics packages.
Fabricating Stories: A Showcase of Student Designs in AMD 329 – Digital Textile Printing for Apparel Design Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 2nd Floor – Hallway Outside Room 2222 Take a look at the College of Human Sciences student-made garments assembled right here in the Student Innovation Center.
Make to Innovate: Engaging Student through Multi-disciplinary Learning Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 2nd Floor – Northeast Corner Hallway Exhibit on Aerospace Engineering: AerE 2940 and AerE 4940 student projects.
ABE Capstone – ABE 416 Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 2nd Floor – Hallway Come see the Ag & Biosystems Engineering Capstone industry projects poster presentation!
Start Something LAS Academy Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 | Presentation Tuesday at 4:10 PM-5:30 PM in the LaunchPad 2nd Floor – Outside Room 2231 Come witness the culmination of our students’ first year in the academy as they unveil their entrepreneurial projects. Each student will present their ideas through posters and relevant items.
WiSE 201 Trading Cards: Celebrating Women in STEM Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 | Discussion Thursday from 2 – 5 PM 3rd Floor – Hallway Windows and Room 3135 The Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) will exhibit selected student work for an assignment in WiSE 201: Foundations in Development for Women in STEM. Check out work in the hallway and inside WiSE West (SICTR 3135) throughout the week. On Thursday 2-5pm, visit WiSE West to hear more about the assignment, the class, and WiSE.
DSNS 546 Preservation & Cultural Heritage PARIS: International Perspectives and Design Issues Tuesday, April 30 – Friday, May 3 4th Floor – Wall Space Innovative interdisciplinary collaboration between ISU College of Design (COD) Professors Diane Al Shihabi (Interior Design) and Mikesch Muecke (Architecture), and DSNS546 Students with 1) the US Department of State’s Office of Cultural Heritage and 2) US Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

Interactive Expo – Thursday, May 2nd  | 2 PM- 5 PM

Event Time Location Description
Glambot in the Digital Media Studio 2 PM- 5 PM Basement – Room 0140 Lights, camera, action!
Make & Take a Print! 12 PM – 1:45 PM 1st Floor – Atrium Stop by and make your own handmade letterpress print to commemorate Ignite 2024!
Gaffer’s Guild Glassblowing Demo 2 PM- 5 PM 1st Floor – Room 1202 Glassblowing studio Continuous glassblowing demonstrations with presenters answering questions throughout the process.
Music Department 3 PM – 3:40 PM 1st Floor – Stepatorium ISU Wind Quintet
Innovate 1858 & Spime Sustainability Installation 2 PM- 5 PM 1st Floor – Innovate 1858 Store Come to an event featuring sustainability and manufacturing transparency startup Spime! Spime, created by ISU students Grant DeWaay and Egan Hansen, illuminates the manufacturing process by providing QR codes that link a product to a website explaining how the item was created, from ideation to consumer. Learn surprising facts about the manufacturing supply chain, participate in our guessing game, and check out our new Cherry Hoodie, created in collaboration with Spime, to show how we create our private-label items at Innovate 1858!
Sparks: Innovative Drink 2 PM- 5 PM 1st Floor – Atrium Outside of Room 1118 Try samples of our latest and greatest beverages!
Wood Lathe in Action 2 PM – 3:30 PM 1st Floor – 1211 Wood and Metal Makerspace Watch the wood chips fly as SICTR staff demo the wood lathe. Ask questions and see what this Makerspace has to offer for your wood and metal projects.
Fashion Circularity: From Shirt to Sheet 2 PM – 5 PM 1st Floor – Room 1221 See the work of College of Human Sciences students produce a sustainable, circular fashion evolution through our ‘process’ exhibit showcasing ‘shirt to sheet.’ Witness the transformation of a fashion shirt!
*President Wintersteen Remarks 4 PM 1st Floor – Stepatorium The President will speak about innovation at Iowa State and announce our Innovation Challenge winners.
ISU Catering Presenting Dragon’s Breath 4 PM – 5 PM 1st Floor – Atrium Outside Room 1118 Enjoy this brand new innovative treat!
Laser Engrave Your Name 2 PM – 3:30 PM 2nd Floor – Room 2222, Electronics, Textiles, and 3D Printing Makerspace Come type up your name and SICTR staff will laser engrave it onto wood, ready for pickup the next day! Make sure to check out the embroidery machines and 3D printers in action.
Learn Something New with ASU 2 PM- 5 PM 2nd Floor- West Hallway Join the Asian Student Union for trivia, origami and a display of tradition clothing!
Floral Creativity 2 PM – 5 PM 2nd Floor – Top of Stepatorium Flowers serve as reminders of the boundless possibilities of imagination, so come create your own stunning bouquet!
Explore Entrepreneurship 2 PM – 5 PM 3rd Floor – Room 3231, HNI Entrepreneurship Hub Want to learn more about entrepreneurship? Join the ISU Pappajohn Center staff to find out if entrepreneurship is for you! Take part in a game of Entrepreneur Jeopardy to learn more about entrepreneurship and to find out what type of entrepreneur you are! Stick around to learn more about the programs and opportunities we offer!
Culinary Creation Lab: Pastry Demo Session 2 PM – 4 PM 3rd Floor – Room 3238 Culinary Creation Lab Participate in a pastry making session for first 30 folks, and learn about Hospitality Management programs and enjoy some fresh baked cookies.
Chemical Product Design – a new, hands-on elective for chemical engineering and related majors 2 PM – 5 PM 3rd Floor – outside Room 3237 ChE 429 – Chemical Product design is a new course for advanced engineering students, especially chemical engineers, who want to learn the process and experience building new products. The course is centered around building a physical prototype, here we display two student team examples from the F24 semester challenge – to build a portable, lightweight oven that can cook a single cookie from a solar charged battery along with shelf-stable cooking mix. Talk to students about the course at our interactive booth and see their work.
FAST-TrAC WISE Program – Drone Demo 2 PM – 5 PM 3rd Floor – Patio FAST-TrAC WISE (Work Integrated Student Experience): We will demonstrate multiple successful projects built by FAST-TrAC WISE students.
The Perfect Dozen 12 PM – 5 PM 4th Floor – Sparks Café College of Design students will be showcasing the bagels they have designed and the platters to serve them.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Taste Testing and Innovation Exploration 1 PM – 4 PM 4th Floor – Rooms 4227 & 4229 Explore CALS Pathways to Innovation and Leadership, discover student projects in CALS Start Something or Science with Practice Course Work, and indulge in samples of Cheddar, Colby, and Pepper Jack cheeses from the ISU Creamery. Marvel at original science-inspired artwork by CALS students and taste the winning entries from Kate Gilbert’s GPC Competition, including a churro-flavored tortilla chip product with chocolate dipping sauce.
College of Human Sciences Entrepreneurship Showcase Presentation 6 PM – 8 PM | Awards Program 8:30 PM – 9:00 PM Presentation – 4250 LaunchPad | Awards Program – Stepatorium Come and be part of the excitement at the College of Human Sciences Entrepreneurship Showcase! Witness the innovative businesses crafted by students enrolled in the Entrepreneurship in Human Sciences course as they showcase their ideas through posters and pitches. Be sure to vote for People’s Choice as they vie for monetary prizes. This event is open to the public. Food will be provided.
IE 430 Pitch Competition 8 AM – 9:15 PM 4250 LaunchPad Come see the final pitches from Start Something College of Engineering, alongside a group outside investors!
VRtual Escapade 2 PM – 5 PM Digital Modeling and Visualization Lab – Room 2261 Experience the Impossible! Dive into the infinite possibilities of virtual reality. Come to the Digital Modeling and Visualization Lab and experience the Student Innovation Center in VR!
The Perfect Dozen 2 PM – 5 PM 4th Floor – Sparks Collaboration Space With an emphasis on user-centered design, this exhibit displays the connection between food and design. TIt displays bagels on platters that holds a dozen bagels, as well as serving items (plates/platters/utensils/etc) which enhance and elevate the experience of eating their bagels.

IGNITE 2023: Photo gallery

Read about IGNITE 2023

Inventive Ideas Abound

Creativity and imagination are at the heart of the IGNITE Innovation Showcase, an event fueled by the inspiring work of students.