MirmanX Delivers a New Direction for Education

05/10/16 03:53:pm
| Category: MirmanX

A mere five months ago, Mirman School launched MirmanX, a unique program offering funding and support for its students to tackle ambitious projects that have the potential to help a community in a meaningful and tangible way. Today, the flagship MirmanX projects are running full steam ahead, including a highly adjustable and effective back brace to help those suffering from scoliosis, a facial recognition device to assist those with memory loss or dementia identify trusted individuals, and a documentary film that exemplifies the trend of microaggressions against Iranian-Americans.

“The idea behind MirmanX is to help students achieve far-reaching goals in an open-source environment supported by the school,” said Mirman’s Director of Technology and program founder, Michael Taggart. “Our older alumni have returned as advisors – it’s amazing to see the mentorships that have developed as a result.”

(Team "A Different Pair of Eyes" meets with Mirman alumna Emma Kragen's production company, Zemma Productions, to plan out their production schedule.)

From dozens of initial applicants, 12 students formed 3 teams to work on projects selected by a panel of judges – comprised of Mirman alumni Eric Bollens, Ashley Felts, Eric Gradman, and parent Monica Ajmera. Thanks to generous donations, MirmanX provides financial backing up to $10,000 per team, material resources, and professional guidance to assist the students as they progress from genesis to market over the course of 12 months. Funds go towards research, development, prototyping, patent/copyright fees, and marketing. Students retain 100% of their intellectual property, which means they can continue to work on, and benefit from, their MirmanX projects long after they have graduated from the school.

(Sabina Y. pitches her idea for an improved scoliosis brace, called the "EmBrace.")

“The judges were looking for a high level of technical complexity, but also a component of social awareness: how the project will benefit a community—a family, the school, the city, or the planet,” said Michael Taggart. “We set out wanting to use the considerable gifts of our students, and the privileges that we have at this school, to make the world a better place for everyone. What we accomplish here at Mirman can become an example for schools across the country.”

(Eli F. of Team "RecogWear" solders components onto an Arduino microcontroller.)

Full press release available here.