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Projects Updates for Illini Gadget Garage

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  1. Update on the Illini Gadget Garage

    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

     

    Joy Scrogum

    Sustainability Specialist

  2. Update from Joy Scrogum

    Associated Project(s): 

    Amanda Elzbieciak, IGG workshop manager recently updated our impact statistics document. See attached.  As of July 2018, through repair assistance and collection of special materials (e.g. single-use and rechargeable batteries, CDs and their cases) the project has diverted 740.88 lbs. of material from the waste stream. ISTC will not be continuing as the coordinating agency. I'm working with Amanda to explore options for transitioning the project to a different unit on campus and will post any updates on that as they become available. - Joy Scrogum

     

    Attached Files: 
  3. Update from Joy Scrogum

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello colleagues. I wanted to take a moment to give you an update on the Illini Gadget Garage (IGG) project and alert you to some upcoming events which may be of interest.

    First of all, tomorrow, Tuesday August 1, we’re hosting a group laptop teardown activity from 10:15am-1:00pm. This event is for those who may be curious about/interested in the sort of “do-it-together” repair that is conducted at the IGG, but who feel a bit hesitant to try because of lack of experience, or because they fear they’ll cause further damage to their own device. We have a limited number of matching laptops that were donated as “practice” devices which we’ll be using to lead folks through the process of dismantling. This provides experience with using tools and with opening up an electronic device, so that individuals can feel empowered and more confident about opening a device in the future which may actually need repair. Space is limited, but we do have some seats still available. Sign up at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc2JdR7XrJepD16fcJDOM_67D22OaYlbgT1C7ddnrGaLY_dCA/viewform. If there is high demand, we’ll potentially hold a similar event in the near future. The workshop is free, though donations are welcome and can be made at http://www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu/SEIdonation.html.

    Also, we’ll be hosting a screening of Death by Design, a documentary on the impacts of electronic devices on the environment and human health. The screening will take place on August 22 at the Champaign Public Library. After the film, I will facilitate a discussion/Q&A session featuring Industrial Design Professor William Bullock and Urbana U-Cycle Coordinator and Illinois Product Stewardship Council member Courtney Kwong as expert panelists. See http://wp.istc.illinois.edu/ilgadgetgarage/2017/07/25/death-by-design-screening-august-22-at-champaign-public-library/ for further information, including a trailer for the film. This is also a free event, with donations suggested and welcome to support future programming.

    If you missed last week’s webinar, “What the Tech? Learn Basic Electronic Component Function,” an archived recording and slides are available on our project web site at http://wp.istc.illinois.edu/ilgadgetgarage/archived-webinars/.

    We’ll also have booths at Quad Day and the Taste of Champaign next month, as well as having project flyers distributed by our friends at the City of Urbana during the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival. So hopefully we’ll see a new wave of potential volunteers and clients coming to our workshop to learn about ways to keep their products in service longer, and out of the waste stream.

    We’re currently seeking sponsors to help keep our services free to the campus community, and to allow us to offer free-to-the public pop-ups in the broader, off-campus CU area. Additionally, we are offering a new “employee engagement event” service for businesses and organizations seeking a unique way to get their employees involved in sustainability discussions and efforts. See https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2MYVVfo5KygTXhBT1h6MXlWbzg/view for more information.

    As some of you may remember, we experienced some setbacks with being able to be open to public, as our workshop required renovation to be ADA compliant. Thus, we have only be officially open to the general public since last fall, but we’ve still managed to have a significant positive impact:

    • We've diverted a total of 320.41 lbs. of devices from the landfill (140.88 lbs. during the spring semester alone). 
    • We've recycled a total of 78 lbs. of single-use batteries (and are now offering both single-use and rechargeable battery collection).
    • We've helped over 100 people to troubleshoot/repair their devices.

    We’ve also had students involved as volunteers, participants in UI courses that have collaborated  with the IGG, and as participants in the iFixit Technical Writing Project, creating repair guides that are shared on the iFixit web site so the spirit of collaborative repair that we foster is spread beyond our campus, and even beyond our state. See the “Our Impact” portion of our web site for more information.

    If you have questions, or would like to discuss potential collaborations, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I hope to see some of you at tomorrow’s workshop and at the documentary screening on the 22nd.

    Best wishes,

    Joy

    Joy Scrogum

    Sustainability Specialist

    LEED Green Associate | ISSP-SA

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) | Prairie Research Institute

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

  4. Illini Gadget Garage podcasts on WEFT 90.1 FM

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,

    I wanted to let you know that the Illini Gadget Garage now has a podcast made available via WEFT Community Radio (90.1 FM). You can listen to the first episode, featuring Madeleine Wolske discussing cellphone battery myths and tips at https://soundcloud.com/weft-90-1/illini-gadget-garage-episode-1-battery-myths. Great job, Maddie!

    New podcasts will be shared on the IGG Facebook page, and we’ll be adding links to them on the project web site soon. You can also follow the WEFT Podcasts station on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/weft-90-1 to catch this and other podcasts from the community. Topics for the IGG podcast will include tips for device maintenance and information related to repairing, reusing, and properly recycling electronics and electrical equipment.

    The IGG podcast is part of WEFT’s short program series. “Short programs” are weekly 5 minute pieces that are “dropped” into other shows throughout the day, allowing them to reach many different audiences and have greater impact. Our thanks to WEFT for this opportunity to encourage a sustainable relationship with technology throughout the CU community!

    If you have tech topics you’d like to learn more about via the podcast, feel free to send suggestions to illinigadgetgarage@gmail.com.

    Best wishes,

    Joy

     

    Joy Scrogum

    Sustainability Specialist

    LEED Green Associate | ISSP-SA

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) | Prairie Research Institute

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

  5. PWR SWATeam Minutes

    At the PWR SWATeam meeting on Feb. 22nd, the team discussed the current campus paper policy. The team will work on reviewing and improving the paper policy to ensure all departments are meeting standards for recycled paper content and identifying reasons for lack of participation. 

    Attached Files: 
  6. PWR SWATeam Minutes 2/3/2017

    At the PWR SWATeam meeting on Feb. 3, the team reviewed the status of the Illini Gadget Garage.  It is going very well, and they have hired students to help promote and market the open hours. The team also discussed the proposed recycled-content paper policy.  This policy was not approved at the System level, and UI at Chicago is working to implement their own policy for their campus.  UIUC can do the same, through an update to the existing policy.  Morgan will bring the policy to the next SWATeam meeting for discussion.  Morgan also asked about the SWATeam recommendation process and invited team members to send her comments and suggestions.  The Chair was selected as Fanxing Liu, with plenty of help from iSEE and the SWATeam Clerk, Meghan Killinger, because Fanxing just joined the team.

    Attached Files: 
  7. Gadget ADA Funding Agreement

    The Illini Gadget Garage is an initiative to provide University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff a place to bring their personal electronic devices for assistance with assessment and repair. Using the same “collaborative repair” model employed at the campus bike shop and MakerSpace Urbana, clients with devices in need of repair or troubleshooting can work together with Gadget Garage student staff and volunteers to perform the necessary device assessment and maintenance activities.

    SSC initially funded this project in Fiscal Year 2015, contingent on a permanent site being established. A permanent location has been selected and partially renovated; however, in order to meet the accessibility requirements for final occupancy, additional construction is required.

    This proposal directly funds the construction cost from skilled trades to add ramp access and other code requirements to the Gadget Garage’s permanent location to allow for general occupancy.

  8. Award Letter - Gadget Garage

    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 (http://makerspaceurbana.org/projects/computer-help-desk/), 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.
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