Plan Your Participation & Weekly Winners!

The Summer of Innovation five-week Ignite challenge series is designed for incoming freshmen, transfer students, and students at the Clarkson School.

A key part of the challenge is student collaboration with friends and family. The challenge topics and the criteria for collaborators will be announced week-by-week in July and August.

Check below to find out who you should be joining forces with, according to each week’s guidelines. And also on this page, find the surveys and forms you'll need to claim prizes and get a free t-shirt! 

Take the Pre-Challenge Survey
(Submit the survey, get a t-shirt!)

Week #1: July 11th

Welcome to WEEK 1 of the Summer of Innovation! 

Each week there will be a bit of a theme surrounding the challenge - or at least why we chose them. This week’s theme is “Summer in the North Country!” As you know, it is July in Potsdam, which means that the weather is PERFECT to be outside. Many people enjoy golfing and there are some beautiful courses in the North Country.

Your first challenge is to collaborate with someone that is 40 years old or older to make a home mini-golf hole. If you want to do more than one hole, have at it, just keep in mind that your video submission can ONLY be 60 seconds long!

The “rules” are simple:

  • Collaborate with someone that is 40 years old or older.
  • Use things at home to make the hole - please don’t go out and buy anything!
  • The hole should have a starting point, at least 3 obstacles, and an ending point.
  • No need for an actual golf ball or putter, just be creative!
  • The challenge can be done inside or outside.
  • Create your Flipgrid video and post it by noon on Friday!

It would be super if you include your name and your collaborator as part of the video, this will help us get to know you! 

WEEK 1 WINNER WRAP UP

Great job to everyone who completed the Week 1 Summer of Innovation Challenge! It was so cool to see all of the creative golf courses that you came up with. Please join us in congratulating our Week 1 winners:

  • FIRST place - Nick B. and collaborator Jim 
  • SECOND place - Meghan R. and collaborator Valerie 
  • THIRD place - Matt W. and collaborator Jeff

CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS!

Week #2: July 18th

WEEK 2 of the Summer of Innovation! 

It wouldn’t be fair to only focus on summer in Potsdam because we enjoy a lot of winter activities during the year. This week’s theme is “Winter in the North Country” to get you ready for the cold, ice, and snow that are part of our winters, but also part of the fun that comes with being a Golden Knight! (Don’t get too ahead of yourselves, there are not going to be any more seasonal-related challenges!)

This week your challenge is to collaborate with someone that is 16 years old or younger (and we think the younger the better) to find a way to do a winter activity in summer! What are you going to do to survive the winter? Keep in mind that your video submission can ONLY be 60 seconds long!

The “rules” are simple:

  • Collaborate with someone that is 16 years old or younger.
  • Use things at home to plan and execute your activity - please don’t go out and buy anything!
  • No need for actual snow or ice, just be creative!
  • The challenge can be done inside or outside.
  • Create your Flipgrid video and post it by noon on Friday!

It would be super if you include your name and your collaborator as part of the video, this will help us get to know you!

Week #3: July 25th

WEEK 3 of the Summer of Innovation! 

Music is everywhere, especially here on-campus! In this week’s theme, “Make Music!,” we want you to create an acoustical piece of music from sounds you hear daily. To make it easier for our judges, we want you to use the rhythm of Neil Diamond’s - Sweet Caroline to create your music. Each submission that reveals how this song is used on-campus during Golden Knight events gets 5 bonus points!  

On campus, you can use the Ignite Media Production Center to create music simply using a computer! Don’t worry - we’ll teach you how to take your rhythms and create music on an Apple MacPro to then listen by yourself or share with others!

This week your challenge is collaborating with a peer, someone 17-19 years old, to create your acoustical version of Sweet Caroline! What are you going to use for instruments, for sounds - for that bup-bup-bup in the song?! Keep in mind that your video submission can ONLY be 60 seconds long!

The “rules” are simple.

  • Collaborate with someone 17-19 years old.
  • Use things at home to plan and execute your activity - please don’t go out and buy anything!
  • Be creative - use what you have lying around for instruments or record sounds that surround you daily!
  • The challenge can be done inside or outside.
  • Create your Flipgrid video and post it by noon on Friday!

Please include your name and your collaborator as part of the video; this will help us get to know you - and help us identify who won so we can email them!

Week #4: August 1st

WEEK 4 of the Summer of Innovation! 

Did you know that Clarkson offers aerospace engineering? Clarkson offers over 50 programs in engineering, business, arts, sciences, education, and health professions that lead to bachelor's degrees. 

This week’s theme is to create something that will fly, but we promise you don't have to be an aerospace engineer yet! Using materials you find in your home, create something that will fly - the more air time, the better your chances of winning! How long will it stay in the air? How will you get as much lift as possible? Are you using physics or just trying as you go?

On campus, you can use the Ignite Dorf Makerspace to create many prototypes using Ignite’s equipment and tools! Same as at home - you need to think about your design, devise a plan, decide what materials you need, and then create!

This week your challenge is collaborating with anyone of your choice, but you CANNOT work alone! Keep in mind that your video submission can ONLY be 60 seconds long!

The “rules” are simple.

  • Collaborate with someone of your choice.
  • Use things at home to plan and execute your activity - please don’t go out and buy anything!
  • Be creative - use any materials - consider using sustainable materials!
  • The challenge can be done inside or outside. PLEASE be safe in launching your creation!
  • Create your Flipgrid video and post it by noon on Friday!

Please include your name and your collaborator as part of the video; this will help us get to know you - and help us identify who won so we can email them!

Submit Your Challenge Response

Week #5: August 8th

By yourself! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the challenges?

Each challenge will be announced on Monday mornings at 8 a.m. (the mornings of each challenge). 

Ignite Summer of Innovation Logo

Where will the challenges be posted?

The challenges will be posted here, on Clarkson’s Summer of Innovation Challenge webpage, our social media pages, and the Clarkson Parent’s Facebook page.

How long will I have to work on each challenge?

Five days. Each challenge will be open from Monday morning at 8 a.m. and must be submitted by that Friday at noon.

How will I submit what I have created?

Submissions need to be posted on a platform called FlipGrid. It will allow you to submit up to a 1-minute video. Each week of the contest we will post links to the platform for submission. 

Will I need a FlipGrid account?

Yes! Once you click the first link leading you to FlipGrid you will be asked to make an account. Please use your Clarkson email to sign up for your account. Once you are signed up you will have access to the Ignite Summer of Innovation page where you will see the weekly challenges!

What happens if I don't submit my video on time? Can I have an extension?

The FlipGrid platform will automatically stop accepting submissions at Noon (EST) on Fridays, so make sure you have them in on time! 

Where do I find my student ID number?

Review your admissions or financial aid documents to find your student ID number. It is important to you as it will be used throughout your college experience. If you cannot find it, email us at ignite@clarkson.edu and we will assist you.

Can I submit more than one submission per challenge?

As you will see at Clarkson Ignite, we don’t say no very often…this is one case where we do. We want each student to ONLY submit ONE submission per challenge. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make more than one video though…have friends or family check out the ones you create and select your best one…just be sure not to miss the submission deadline (noon each Friday)!

When will I know if I win?

The judges will review submissions and winners will be announced at noon on Wednesdays of the following week.

Where will the winners be posted?

Winners will be announced on Ignite’s social media pages, the Clarkson Parent’s Facebook page, as well as here on the Ignite Summer of Innovation Challenge webpage. Winners will also be notified via email so that they can move forward and choose their prize.

What will I win?

Students will be able to choose a prize based on their winning category of first, second, or third place. The prize selections will be presented in the challenge’s prize catalog which will be posted here on the Ignite Summer of Innovation Challenge webpage.

What will my collaborator win?

We have a collaborator prize catalog also! Check it out to see what they have the potential to win. After reviewing with your collaborator, you will let us know what they have selected as their prize.

Are you checking IDs to make sure that collaborators are the required age? 

No, at Clarkson Ignite we value integrity and honesty. The goal of the age ranges is to have an opportunity to collaborate with people that have a different mindset than you.

Can I use my parents for the first week if they are only in their 30s and I don’t have anyone else to work with that is older?

Yes, parents work! Again, we are just trying to get you to work with people that have different mindsets than you do.

When you say that we have to collaborate with someone, what exactly do you mean?

Involving your collaborator in the process(es) is what we care about. You could use them to come up with the idea, help execute the idea, and work with them to pivot to a new idea if the first go isn’t as successful as you were hoping. Really any (but the best case scenario is ALL) parts of the challenge. We would love for them to be involved in the video, too. However if logistically you can’t get them in the video, we want to know who you worked with and how you collaborated with them as part of your submission.

No one in the age group lives near me, can someone participate with me virtually? 

Yes, of course! COVID taught us all many things - one of which was working with people remotely. Do what you need to make that happen - use Facetime, Facebook video, Zoom, etc…, we just want you to challenge yourself and participate!

Is this challenge new? My parents (sibling, cousin, neighbor) went to Clarkson and no one has heard of it before.

Yes! Brand new. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to get students involved. This is a new initiative to get incoming students to engage early and win fun stuff and help offset things that you may need to bring your first year!

How much should I anticipate spending on each challenge?

Nothing! The challenges should use items that you have around the house! If you don’t have something around the house, use resources like your computer to design or print what you may need. Another hint…the last challenge does assume that you may want to bring supplies to college, so if you wish to purchase things for that challenge it is up to you, but buying things is NOT required.

Why won’t you tell us all of the challenges at once?

We won’t tell you the challenges because we think the suspense is much more entertaining - and we want you to concentrate on one challenge at a time!

Why are there surveys?

We are going to require both a pre- and post-challenge survey. This will help us to get to know our incoming class and allows us to do so in a fun way. The post-challenge survey is to get your feedback to make any improvements to the challenge that may be necessary.

When can I fill out the surveys?

The pre-survey is already live, near the top of this page. Feel free to fill it out anytime! The post survey will not be available until after the 5th challenge, but don’t worry, we’ll send you an email when it posts!

I don't feel that I am creative or innovative. I’ll never win. Why should I participate?

Clarkson Ignite believes that everyone can be creative, innovative, and a maker! No one is perfect so we want everyone to have fun and do the best they can. And if you do nothing more than simply fill out the survey, we will give you an Ignite Summer of Innovation Challenge shirt! But we are really hoping that everyone will give it a good Clarkson try! While you will be getting a lot of Clarkson swag during your college experience, the Ignite shirts are one way to shine and stand out. Only freshmen who participate in the Summer of Innovation Challenge will get one, so you’ll know that someone else is also a first-year student if they have one on. It can be a fun conversation starter!

I won a prize, when do I get it?

At move-in! Ignite is located in the ERC (Suite 1101) and we will be on-campus during move-in, so you can head on over anytime and we will have your prize waiting for you - bring your new student ID with you!

How do I get my participation shirt?

Come to the Ignite office and get your shirt anytime during move-in!

When does my collaborator get their prize?

If they are coming with you to move-in, we will have it in the Ignite office with your prize. If they are your second cousin on your mom’s side of the family and they live in Texas, no worries, we will mail it to them, just let us know when you win if their prize will need to be shipped out and we will send it out after you pick up your prize during move-in.

Can I win more than one challenge?

Yes, but not more than one of the same prize level. If you already won a first prize category, then you will only be eligible to win a second or third prize level. You can win up to one of each level, although if you are that good, we suggest you keep playing because…well, because it is fun and we will enjoy your creativity and enthusiasm.

If I win, do I get a shirt too? I love free stuff!

We love free stuff too! Yes, as long as you fill out the surveys, you will get a shirt too!

I am coming in early for a pre-orientation trip, can I get my prize early?

Of course! We want to meet you as soon as you get on campus! Let us know when you are coming and we will make sure we are around for you to get your prize!

Who are the judges?

The judges are a variety of people made up of Clarkson representatives from our faculty, staff, and alumni!