The Berglund Center’s Inspired Ideas Competition took place on April 23, 2022, in which teams of students presented innovative solutions to problems in their fields of study. Three of these student groups won fellowships with Berglund Center as well as a budget of $25,000 to make their winning ideas into prototypes. Lauren Fetzer, a junior majoring in Psychology, was one of these winners

 “It was a little bit of my boss, Andy Soria, being like, ‘We don’t have enough submissions yet.’,” said Fetzer. “I work for the Berglund Center on top of also participating in the competition itself, which was really fun because I got to see the behind-the-scenes perspective.” 

Fetzer’s idea was a compact hearing aid box. She has been using hearing aids since she was 15 years old, and one of the biggest issues she had was with the hearing aid case’s bulkiness. In Fetzer’s design, the box was much more compact. It could be easily slipped into a person’s pockets and not have to be thrown in the backpack or purse. The box also has a foam interior to add extra protection for the hearing aids as well as a separate compartment in the box to hold extra batteries. 

“You get to work with our student prototyping team and kinda get an idea on how things like this are created,” said Fetzer of working to make her idea a reality. “You get a lot of hands-on experience with really creating a product and possibly even the basics of a business. On top of that, you also get a lot of networking connections, which helps with the professional development.”

Work on the product will not start until fall of this year. Currently, the student prototyping team is planning out designs with respect to the case’s functionality, size, and features such as a magnetic lid. From there, the team will work on a business plan and possibly take this product to the Pacific School of Audiology for marketing. —Jamie Samson

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