Invention and Inclusive Innovation (i3)

Invention and Inclusive Innovation (i3)

Welcome to the Invention and Inclusive Innovation (i3) Learning Community

In partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Lemelson-MIT Program

Calling All Creative Problem Solvers

  • Do you want to create innovative solutions to problems that impact your community?
  • Do you want to develop critical skills to be successful in the workforce?
  • Do you want to make connections with local professionals, business people and community leaders?

Sierra College is one of four California Community Colleges selected to develop a new program shaping the future of invention education with an emphasis on equity. The program is modeled after the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams. The InvenTeams are groups of students, educators and mentors that develop technological solutions to real-world problems.

Watch this inspiring i3 video to learn more about the program.

Who We are Looking For

Everyone is welcome to participate from all fields and backgrounds. No prior experience is necessary. Now more than ever, we need creative problem solvers to envision a better future for all of us. The innovation economy has been historically exclusive but we recognize true innovation removes barriers. In the spirit of inclusive innovation, we are encouraging women and students from underrepresented groups to join. Bring your valuable perspectives and desire to create positive change in your community to the i3 Learning Community.

What to Expect

You will work with the same group of students during your time in the learning community. You and your team will go through the entire invention and innovation process, including:

  • researching challenges experienced by your community
  • conceptualizing systemic or technological solutions
  • developing working prototypes
  • responding to user feedback
  • learning to bring your invention to market

Support will be provided from faculty, mentors and community partners as you build your skills and strengthen your confidence as an innovator.

When you participate in this program, you will receive: 

  • Scholarship opportunities upon completion
  • Mentorship from Sierra College faculty, industry experts and community leaders
  • Support and friendship from peers in the learning community
  • Networking opportunities
  • Certificate of Participation from the Chancellor’s Office and Lemelson-MIT, which will be recognized statewide

The i3 project is a space for students to be able to take everything that they’ve lived, everything that they’ve learned across disciplines and put it together to build a solution to something that matters to them.

Lynn Harrison-Benavidez, Lead Faculty i3 and Mathematics instructor

Program Overview

Classes are hybrid, and include both on-ground and online learning. We meet in the newly renovated Sierra College MakerSpace (N Building) on the Rocklin campus.

To participate in the program, students are required to enroll in all three classes concurrently (5 units total). 

By mid-semester, teams will demonstrate their progress and gather important feedback through a mid-term review. By the end of the semester, teams will present and showcase a working prototype of their invention.

10am-12pmBUS 243 – Social Entrepreneurship3Introduction to the practice of identifying and designing sustainable, socially-minded enterprises
12pm-1pmWorking lunch with local business leadersN/ANetworking opportunity. Lunch provided.
1pm-2pmBUS 159/859 – New World of Work / 21st Century Skills2Interactive lessons designed to teach transferable skills needed for success in the modern workforce including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, digital literacy, empathy and resilience
2pm-3pmBI 804 – Rapid Prototyping0Hands-on exposure to processes used to fabricate prototypes
Required Courses / Friday Schedule

How to Apply

Contact JD Murillo (Enrollment Specialist) at or (916) 660-7539 to enroll. 

Donors and Community Partnerships

We are continually establishing and expanding partnerships with people in the community, CSUs and UCs to advance career pathways in STEM, student mentoring, networking opportunities, and partnerships with high schools that expand dual enrollment.

Contact Amy Schulz, Dean of Career, Continuing, and Technical Education, at if you want to support or partner with our program. 

California Community Colleges logo
Lemelson MIT Celebrating invention, inspiring youth logo
Sierra College logo