STARS Students Visit The Garage at Northwestern

Event Recaps
Sophia Mokotoff
Jul 9, 2024
STARS students posing for a group photo in front of The Garage's mural

18 STARS students from across the country visited The Garage at Northwestern to engage in a collaborative day of learning on June 28. Jointly hosted with Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Admission, the students were able to explore Northwestern’s campus and visit The Garage, an entrepreneurship and innovation hub of Northwestern.

The Small Towns and Rural Students (STARS) College Network is a program that supports high school students from rural communities and small towns by providing on-campus experiences, admissions visits, application assistance, and guidance on financial aid and scholarships. Along with 15 other universities, Northwestern is an institution that participates in the STARS program.

The STARS students that came to Northwestern are from hometowns from across the US - California to North Carolina and everywhere in between. Each student brought their unique background and high school experience to campus, and were excited to see what Northwestern has to offer.

Before the students arrived on campus, Jake Juracka, The Garage’s Technology Manager, showcased The Garage’s prototyping lab’s capabilities. Jake created an online tool where students could 3D print their own uniquely designed name plates before they came to campus. Their designs were then printed and ready for display when they arrived.

Pictured: Name plates designed by the STARS students at home and printed on the 3D printer at The Garage.

Brylan Donaldson, Associate Director of The Garage, gave the STARS students a tour of The Garage, where they learned more about the space where Northwestern students come to build their startups. The STARS students met with the 12 teams participating in The Garage’s Jumpstart cohort this summer so they could hear about the Northwestern student experience directly from the students!

Pictured: STARS students during activities throughout the day.

The Garage’s Jumpstart Pre-Accelerator program takes place over 10 weeks during the summer and aims to support early-stage student startups by providing additional resources, programming, coaching, and funding. Like all programs at The Garage, Jumpstart welcomes all ideas: for-profit, nonprofit, arts-based, technology, or anything that students wish to see come to life through innovation and hard work.

One Jumpstart student shared that, “the best thing about Northwestern has been the people and the staff that provide friendship and support throughout your college journey.”

Pictured: Brylan leading a session.

Brylan led a workshop about problem/solution fit. Brylan’s goal for the session was to outline how to research a “problem space,” and how to brainstorm solutions based on customer discovery. STARS students then broke out into teams and brainstormed their own problem spaces on whiteboards.

After the lunch break, Jake demonstrated a mixed reality headset that showcases the ease of interacting with objects through Vision OS, making images in front of you projected by the headset as real as the objects in real life. Then students could try out this hot new technology.

Pictured: A STARS student trying out a virtual reality headset.

At the end of the day, Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Admission shared information about the application process and financial aid programs. Before heading home, the STARS students explored Chicago and the Willis Tower.  It was a pleasure to have the STARS students with us and we wish you the best of luck with your college applications and senior year!

Pictured: STARS students at The Garage
About the Author

Sophia is an incoming junior at UGA, studying Advertising and Business at The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Sophia joined the team at The Garage as a summer intern to support the 2024 Jumpstart Pre-Accelerator program.