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Update on the Illini Gadget Garage

Posted by Sarthak Prasad on December 21, 2018

Members of the Purchasing, Waste and Recycling Sustainability Working Advisory Team (SWAT),

The main reason for my note though, is to provide an update on the Illini Gadget Garage (IGG) project. As you know, ISTC decided it would no longer be coordinating the project, and there was some uncertainty about its future. I’m pleased to say that for now the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning will be exploring “adoption” of the project on a trial basis, beginning next semester. I’ve copied Jamie Nelson and Jim Wentworth of CITL, who will be leading that effort, along with Amanda Elzbieciak, the IGG workshop manager, who has graciously agreed to work with CITL to host some pop-up repair workshops at the innovation spaces in the Armory, and to help with recruitment of volunteers and training. While the workshop space will still be at the IGG’s disposal for storing equipment, etc., next semester, CITL will focus project activities in its spaces at the Armory.

So the project will continue in some capacity next semester. Whether it continues beyond that point will depend on many factors related to how well it ends up fitting with CITL’s core mission. I’ve also copied my original collaborators in launching the project, William Bullock and Martin Wolske, just so you all are familiar with the names of key people associated with the project and its history. Jamie and Jim, the PWR SWATeam, along with Morgan White, have been very supportive of the IGG project, and they are charged with making recommendations to the iCAP Working Group related to the campus’ waste reduction and prevention goals. At some point next semester, you may wish to discuss any challenges the project might be facing with the SWATeam, for feedback and guidance, or at least to help spread the word about pop-ups and other activities.

There is nothing further to report for now, and CITL will want to work with Amanda to consider how best to announce their involvement next semester. I simply wanted to let this committee know the status of the situation, and say that I will work with Amanda after the winter break to ensure the transition is smooth. I look forward to seeing how this progresses and hope to see more efforts to foster reuse and repair on campus, in addition to recycling. Thanks to everyone who helped get the project to this point.

Happy holidays!



Joy Scrogum

Sustainability Specialist