Students who belong to Georgian College’s Maker Club think of themselves as problem solvers. They like to identify challenges and build solutions. Barrie entrepreneur Peter Moore told the club the same principles applied to him in his startup days as he announced his donation of $250,000 to a changemaker space at the college.
When Moore founded Moore Packaging in 1979, he had been a corrugated packaging salesman. He had a client who manufactured seat belts and needed a specially designed tube to hold the belts in place during shipping but couldn’t find a supplier. That piqued Moore’s interest and he started developing a prototype during his evenings at home. Three decades later, he has built a packaging solutions firm with more than 220 employees.
“Good jobs are hard to come by. If we can come up with ideas and bring them to fruition, that’s the way to go,” said Moore who is eager to help Georgian students on a similar path.
Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes said the Peter B. Moore Changemaker Space at the Barrie Campus will be student-driven and student-owned.
“This innovative space will enable our students to not only adapt to change but to be the change ahead,” said West-Moynes.
Maker Club president Ed Jackson, a Computer Programmer Analyst student, said his new club already has almost 50 members who are excited to get to work in the new space. Features will include a mobile usability lab to test web products or services on a variety of platforms and a 3D printer for building prototypes.
Two of Jackson’s peers demonstrated their projects to Moore. ZiFeng Xu has created a mobile application for Barrie Transit. As a bus rider he was frustrated and wanted an app to check bus routes, stops and arrival times. Initially he collected all the co-ordinates from Google Maps and now he is collaborating with Barrie Transit on a live map. His app can be downloaded from Google Play.
Luis Acevedo made a prototype for a system to melt snow on driveways. As an international student from Venezuela, he came up with the idea after experiencing his first winter in Barrie.
Jackson says these are just two examples of the many innovative ideas he and his classmates have come up with.
“We have some crazy ideas and, thanks to Mr. Moore, we will have a dedicated space with the latest technology to make them a reality,” said Jackson.
Moore’s donation was made as part of Georgian’s Power of Education fundraising campaign. Learn more at GeorgianCollege.ca/giving.