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pocket dorm furniture set in box

Solving Problems, Shaping Futures: Students’ Ingenuity for the Next Generation

  • By: Abigail Franklin
  • Published:
two male students stand behind box sets of Pocket Dorm

Taylor students have so many ways to get practical experience in their field of study and solve real-world problems. Computer Science with Systems major Isaac Wickham ‘24 and Engineering major David Mitchell ’24 used their skills to develop Pocket Dorm, a fun interactive tool for incoming students to plan their residence hall room set-up, and is a perfect encapsulation of the things Taylor students can do.

Engineering Solutions through Pocket Dorm

Pocket Dorm began as an idea in one of Wickham’s Systems classes. He saw the way that setting up a residence hall room with a brand-new roommate was stressful and took a lot of time and sweat equity. He thought a model could make the whole process go smoother, so he reached out to Mitchell, who had a 3D printer, to make his ideas come to life.

50 incoming students will win a Pocket Dorm.

The result is a 1/27 model of the average residence hall room on campus, with all the standard furniture. Wickham’s idea was that for incoming students (who have paid their matriculation fee), this tool would be useful for roommates to interact with it together and come up with a room setup that works for everyone – no sweat involved.

Wickham took his idea to Shark Tank, a campus event where students can pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to  experienced people in the business field in hopes of getting a financial investment. 

“It was really awesome being able to work with the people who were in charge of Shark Tank and just get a lot of feedback from them,” Wickham said. “It was difficult in the beginning, but once we got through the first practice and practiced a couple more times, as soon as I was on stage, I enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun.” 

Pocket Dorm tied for second place in the competition and won $1,000 of start-up money as a result.

Opportunities for Current and Incoming Students 

Incoming students have access to an exclusive site for accepted Taylor students who have paid their matriculation fees and intend to come to Taylor. The first 50 students who register for a Pocket Dorm in April (accepted students, check your email!) will receive one for free!

Executive Director of Admissions Andy Gammons met with Wickham early on in the design process to provide feedback as to what would be most helpful for incoming students. Now, having seen the final product, Gammons is thrilled about the opportunities that Pocket Dorm presents for both current and incoming students. 

“This is exactly the type of thing that our students get to do,” Gammons said. “It's a really hands-on project that involves people from different majors working collaboratively. They got startup money from Shark Tank. That's how they're giving away these 50 free Pocket Dorms. These are the kinds of projects that students will be able to do and work on someday when they become Taylor students.”

Wickham encourages incoming students to get involved and pursue what they love at Taylor.

“There's so much that you can do in college, especially coming to Taylor,” Wickham said. “Take the opportunity just to do stuff. Figure out what you like, what you don't like. It's the perfect time to do it.”

Excited about Coming to Taylor in the Fall?

Learn more about next steps for accepted students here.