Are you intrigued by the fusion of technology and design? At CU Boulder's Atlas Institute, I discovered a world where engineering isn't just about equations and mechanics; it's about bringing creative visions to life. This is where the future of innovative design and technology education is being shaped today.
The Atlas Institute offers a Bachelor of Science in Creative Technology and Design (CTD). This isn't your average engineering degree; it's a playground for the 'makers, tinkerers, and builders'. This interdisciplinary major is rooted in project-based learning, empowering students to blend engineering and design skills with their unique creative flair. While all engineers are tasked with solving problems the approach in a design-based program will be very different than a more traditional theoretical approach.
Some of the course options that stood out to me were Empathy in Tech, Wearable Electronics, Generative AI, and Neurohacking.
The journey at Atlas begins with a strong foundation in engineering and CTD core courses during the first two years. But as students progress into their junior and senior years, the world of electives opens up, allowing them to dive deep into their passions, be it UI/UX, AR/VR, digital content, or even gaming design.
One of the highlights of the Atlas experience is the senior capstone project, a beacon of innovation and creativity. These projects are not just final assignments; they culminate years of learning, experimenting, and creating. Students are given the liberty to delve into nearly any interest within the field, leading to a diverse and innovative array of projects.
The annual Spring Expo is a key event that brings these projects to the limelight. This expo is a vibrant showcase where students present their capstone projects, offering a window into the future of technology and design. For anyone interested in witnessing these groundbreaking projects in action, the Spring Expo is an unmissable event. View projects from last year at CU Boulder Atlas Expo 2023 and keep an eye out for the event this year if you are interested in learning more about this program! It's a fantastic opportunity to see the culmination of student innovation and to get inspired by the creative potential of the next generation of technologists and designers.
What sets the Atlas Institute apart is its collaborative culture. The student panel indicated that compared to traditional engineering programs, Atlas students are more focused on the design aspect and working together. This collaborative spirit is best seen in the BTU (Blow Things Up) Lab, a maker space where ideas and prototypes come to life through collective effort. This isn’t the only maker space in the building but the area where students are most likely to find others working on their projects at any hour of the day. Students have access to a woodshop, laser cutters, sewing machines, 3D printers, and a variety of electronics.
Graduates of this program go on to find careers in some less traditional paths. They are equipped for dynamic careers in motion graphics, UI/UX design, AR/VR, digital content production, and more. This degree opens doors to industries where technology meets art, where functionality meets creativity.
For those who find joy at the intersection of STEM and creativity, the Atlas Institute at CU Boulder offers a unique and fulfilling path. It's a place where you can not only dream about the future but also get your hands dirty making it. If you're a young innovator looking to make a mark in the world of technology and design, CU Boulder's Atlas Institute could be the launchpad for your dreams.
"Is Creative Technology and Design Right for Me?" Questionnaire
Reflecting on Your Answers:
If you find yourself answering 'yes' to most of these questions, a Creative Technology and Design program might be an excellent fit for you. It's a field where creativity meets technology, and where your innovative ideas can find practical applications.
Are you a high school student with a passion for technology, problem-solving, and innovation? If so, you're in for an exciting journey as we explore college majors within the engineering field, particularly mechatronics. In this blog post, we'll delve into what mechatronics is and provide valuable resources to help you explore job prospects in this interdisciplinary industry.
Mechatronics is a cutting-edge field that seamlessly combines mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. By integrating physical components, electronic circuits, and intelligent software, mechatronics enables machines and systems to perform tasks autonomously and efficiently, driving advancements in various industries.
College programs in mechatronics offer a comprehensive range of subjects designed to provide students with a holistic understanding of this exciting field. From mechanics and dynamics to electronics and control systems, programming and computer science, robotics and automation, manufacturing processes, and system integration, these programs equip students with the skills needed to design and develop intelligent systems. Hands-on projects and practical experiences enhance the learning process, allowing students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios.
To thrive in mechatronics, several key skills are essential:
Graduates of mechatronics programs find themselves well-positioned for exciting careers in industries such as robotics, automation, advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and more. The demand for mechatronics professionals is steadily increasing as companies seek expertise in designing intelligent systems and leveraging automation to improve efficiency and productivity.
Mechatronics presents an exciting pathway for high school students interested in the engineering field. With its interdisciplinary nature, focus on innovation, and promising job prospects, mechatronics offers a dynamic career filled with opportunities to shape the future. Start exploring today and embark on an incredible journey of technological discovery and creative problem-solving.
Are you interested in learning more or exploring additional major during your college application process? Reach out to us today!
As a high school student, the prospect of choosing a college major can feel overwhelming. However, it's important to remember that you're not alone in this process. Many students struggle with this decision, and it's okay not to have everything figured out right away. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process of finding your college major:
You are more likely to have a successful college experience if you are excited by what you are learning about.
Check out colleges with design-your-own-major or interdisciplinary programs like these:
Keep in mind that each program may have specific requirements and guidelines for creating your own major, so be sure to research each school's individual program thoroughly before applying.
Remember, choosing a college major is an important decision, but it's not one you have to make alone. Seek advice from family members, teachers, and college advisors, and don't be afraid to ask for help. With these tips and a little self-reflection, you'll be on your way to finding the major that's right for you.
Need help with your college and major research?
Windbourne College Consulting is happy to help! Reach out to us today and let's get started!