A team of seven undergraduates and recent alumni from UC Davis, UC Berkeley and UC Merced won the $5,000 second prize. BME alumni Nick Dao and Lisa Illes, along with current BME major Lillian Eng and Biological Systems Engineering major Alexander Godbout, developed their prototype in TEAM’s Molecluar Prototyping and Biological Innovation Laboratory (MPBIL) under the guidance of MPBIL Professor Marc Facciotti and MPBIL manager Andrew Yao.
Chromatiscope aims to boost students’ scientific literacy by combining four specialized laboratory devices—each of which costs thousands of dollars—into a single, easy-to-use device that costs just $40 to $70. The result: more students can have the experiences necessary to excel in STEM.
The venture was inspired by a request from Davis High School science teacher Ann Moriarty for a solution to help replace her outdated science equipment to meet new standards. “We did some research,” said team lead Lisa Illes, an undergraduate biosystems engineering major at the UC Davis College of Engineering, “and it turns out Ann isn’t the only person looking for inexpensive, multi-functional science equipment to allow students to conduct their own experiments.”
Participation in the Big Bang! helped the team conduct “a multitude of customer interviews and connect with the school system in Davis on a level we could not have accomplished otherwise,” Illes said.
Her team will use the prize money to develop a production model of their prototype, determine the logistical needs to mass manufacture this model and further analyze potential entry markets. “Then we plan to to strike at the markets quickly,” Illes said.
This is the second group that has won a BigBang! award. The first was Ambercycle.
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Adapted from original story here: http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/BigBang_winners_2017