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Award Letter - Gadget Garage

Posted by Sarthak Prasad on June 30, 2015

ISTC proposes to launch a center, using seed funding from SSC, where UI students and staff will bring their personal electronic devices for assistance with assessment and repair. We call this center the Illini Gadget Garage (hereafter referred to as “Gadget Garage” or “Garage”).
Using the same “collaborative repair” model employed at the campus bike shop and MakerSpace Urbana (, clients with devices in need of repair/troubleshooting will work together with Gadget Garage student staff and volunteers to perform the necessary device assessment and maintenance activities. Depending upon the situation, activities may range from guidance on how to make your computer/device run faster to actual repair and replacement of components.

Desired outcomes for students, staff, and the community include:

  1. Hands on experiences for UI students, not only in terms of performing repairs, but also in process documentation and fostering sustainable behavior on a larger scale through the iFixit Technical Writing Project; marketing and business operations; lessons in industrial design for repair and recyclability; and in environmental education and communication.
  2. Increased awareness of electronics laws and recycling options.
  3. Increased awareness of sustainability issues surrounding electronic products throughout their lifecycles.
  4. Decreased misconceptions regarding the disposability of devices and prohibitive complexity of electronics repair and maintenance.
  5. Contribution to the overall efforts to make ours a more sustainable campus with a reduced carbon footprint.