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Why GrowCube looks to snow boards for inspiration

GrowCube, a team of four students from George Fox University, are determined to improve STEM education with their soil-free plant-growing test station designed for use in schools. We caught up with one of the team members, mechanical engineering student Jonmichael Weaver, to find out how the run-up to InventOR (#meetmeinklamath) is going.

1. What’s been the biggest change in your invention since you started working on the prototype?

A CAD image of the GrowCube.

Jonmichael Weaver: The biggest change in our invention since the first prototype is duplicating the system to have a control and test side for plants. That change involved decreasing the overall size while adding an extra lighting, watering, and temperature control system to allow for each side of the box to be controlled independently.

2. What’s one piece of advice you could offer to someone thinking about entering the InventOR competition next year?

JW: I would offer the advice to make the decision love what you do, if you love it than the rest of the work and care will fall into place.

3. Who is your innovation hero and why?

JM: My innovation hero is Tim Burton. 

He fell in love with creating the snowboard and stuck behind it, supporting it and making it better — even when many people doubted his success. He stayed behind his idea and succeeded in changing the world of snow sports. 

4. How do you stay inspired?

JM: I stay inspired by sharing in conversation with people, especially those older than me. Listening to their stories about life gives me inspiration to make a life for myself that interacts and intersects with the culture around me. Many people have invested in me during my young years and I want to give back by investing in the next generation. 

5. Are you going to win on June 29? :) Why or why not?

JM: By providing an easy-to-teach comprehensive curriculum along with a hands-on learning experience for students, the innovation GrowCube provides the next generation is a tool that helps them further technology.

GrowCube does not solve child obesity or world hunger, but rather educates the next generation, enabling them to better solve the issues they will face. Fulfilling the InventOR mindset, GrowCube Education desires to give students the opportunity to change the world. That is what makes GrowCube the winning team. 

The GrowCube logo.

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