A leak-proof nursing bra, a valuable experiential learning opportunity
In Kettering Labs, engineering students Grace Silverberg and Tanner Hamilton set up their experiment — to test the absorbency of a new leak-proof nursing bra for breastfeeding moms, called Lunnie.
The project was made possible by the Stitt Scholars program, created this academic year with a donation from Jim Stitt '71 and Carol Stitt. It offers paid internships to business and engineering students, who together collaborate with local entrepreneurs.
“This program is cool because we get to work with actual companies helping them solve problems while also learning and gaining experiences along the way,” said Silverberg, a junior studying mechanical engineering.
“It has allowed me to step outside of my typical technical roles as an engineering student and see the business side of things through practical real world experience and through presentations given by real world experts,” added Hamilton, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace engineering.
Silverberg and Hamilton’s experiment confirmed that the Lunnie bra is up to six times more absorbent than other leading nursing bras on the market, said founder Sarah Kallile. The students also did market research for Kallile to use in the University’s Flyer Pitch competition, and identified a social media program to help her analyze her posts online.
It’s the kind of experiential learning that is so important to a University of Dayton education, said Philip Appiah-Kubi, associate professor in the department of engineering management, systems and technology.
“The students are involved in deep collaboration.”
“The students are involved in deep collaboration,” Appiah-Kubi said. “The Stitt Scholars program offers opportunities for students to gain and enhance their innovative and entrepreneurial problem-solving skills.”
In the fall of 2021, the students completed eight projects with startup companies and community partners at the Hub Powered by PNC. Their work was used to secure $15,000 from the PNC Bank to support Black-owned businesses in Greater West Dayton. They are currently working on six additional projects, Appiah-Kubi said.