Studio@Gordon is an active learning and exploration space for project teams, student groups, and classes.

Launchpad Contact

Vinny Sabo

Graduate Assistant, KEEN

B.S. Chemical Engineering, WPI 2016

M.S. Construction Project Management, WPI 2018

University Innovation Fellow

About Launchpad

Launchpad is a student-led group working directly with WPI alumni and faculty members to instill an entrepreneurial mindset on campus through extracurricular education. Our diverse group of students is an new face for the WPI Innovation Fellows as well as an older initiative called the WPI Test Kitchen.  Nine of our team members completed Epicenter's University Innovation Fellows training program through the Stanford University d.School in 2016.

Launchpad frequently uses Studio@Gordon as a space for active learning and ideation.  See below for upcoming Launchpad events at Studio@Gordon.

WinterSession 2018: Announcements

As of December 20, 2017, all classes in the Fine Arts and Maker track are officially filled!  

Winter Session 2018 Schedule

Winter Session 2018 Schedule-at-a-glance

WinterSession 2018

WinterSession 2018 Schedule

Below are the classes we are excited to offer for WinterSession this year!  Please note that most of these classes and tracks are overlapping, so please take note of the schedule before registering.

Register for WinterSession 2018

Innovation Workshops and Sponsored Design Challenge

A 2-day experience featuring one packed day of workshops to introduce participants to various topics and methods to help them develop a strong idea to convey for the design challenge the following day.

Monday, January 8th

  • Morning Session in Studio@Gordon (60 people) 8am – 2pm (both parts connected)
    • Part 1 – Design Thinking Crash Course led by LaunchPad and KEEN 8am – 11am
      • In this 3-hour design thinking workshop you will learn by doing.  A 60-minute design challenge will take you through a fast-paced project where participants pair up, interview one another, identify real needs and design solutions.  In the two hours that follow, participants will go deeper by practicing their skills on challenge faced by all WPI community members.
    • Break for Lunch 11am – 12pm
    • Part 2 – Iterative User Experience Testing led by WPI Alumni in the UX field 12pm – 2pm
      • In the 2 hours following the design thinking crash course, participants will spend time diving deeper into iterating on a prototype and developing effective plans for user testing through various methods learned in this session.
  • Coffee Social in SL, First Floor Lounge 2pm – 3pm
  • Breakout Session 1 3pm – 4:30pm (choose 1)
    • High-performance Teams: Core Protocols for Psychological Safety and EI Richard Kasperowski (30 people) SL 405
      • Want awesome teams that build great products?  Great teams don’t happen by accident.  And they don’t have to take a long time to build.  In this session, Richard lays out the case for Continuous Teaming.  Session participants will join in a flight of fun learning activity-sets.  These will give you a taste of team awesomeness and how to start when you go back to work.  Who should attend?  Anyone who wants to create great teams and build great products.  You’ll leave having embodied the essential elements of accelerated continuous team-building and awesomeness maintenance.
    • Tools for Market Research Laura Robinson (30 people) SL 406
      • Learn how to use market research databases made available by the Gordon Library to understand the competitive landscape and driving market factors in your industry.
    • Engineering Economics Instructor TBD (30 people) SL 411
  • Breakout Session 2 4:30pm – 5:50pm (choose 1)
    • Creative Storytelling for Pitching Curtis Abel/Leslie Dodson (50 people) SL 411
      • Conveying an idea to someone is all about building a great narrative that is easy for them to connect with and creating a hook that impassioned them.  Leslie and Curtis bring experience from Marketing and Journalism to help you build a powerful hook and story for your idea.
    • Games for Agile Leadership Marc Trudeau (30 people) SL 406
      • Marc will teach the principles of the Agile Manifesto, but more generally than just for software, covering the topic of managing by empiricism in a world and market that changes so fast.
    • Intellectual Property for WPI Entrepreneurs Todd Keiller (30 people) SL 405
      • Director of Intellectual Property at WPI, Todd Keiller, will discuss the importance of IP in entrepreneurship and how the IP policy at WPI helps students take control of their ideas.
  • 6pm – 8pm
    • ​WinterSession 2018 Dinner
      • Join us at the end of the day for a casual dinner to celebrate the future of higher education!  We will also be announcing the problem for the design challenge at this dinner, so make sure to attend!

Tuesday, January 9th

  • All-day Design Challenge (no limit) in the CC Odeum
    • Students will join teams to work through Monday night and Tuesday day to understand and pose a solution for one design challenge posed to all teams.  A company sponsor (TBD) will present the challenge at the dinner Monday night and will be there throughout the day Tuesday to advise teams through their design process.

Fine Arts and Maker Classes

Take advantage of this opportunity to experience a variety of classes at two of Worcester’s established creative education center, Technocopia and the Worcester Center for Crafts.

Sunday, January 7th

Worcester Center for Crafts

  • Raku: 9am – 4pm (14 people)
    • This six-hour workshop will introduce students to the fast fire method of firing ceramics called Raku, a process in which glazed work is removed from the kiln at bright red heat and subjected to post-firing reduction (or smoking) by being placed in containers of combustible materials.  Held at the Worcester Center for Crafts, students in this workshop will select and decorate one to three objects with designs of their own creation.  These works will be fired in the Center’s outdoor raku kiln with students participating in the loading and unloading of the kiln!  Play with fire and go home with 2-3 fired pieces.

Monday, January 8th


  • Laser Cutter Training and 2D Design 9:30am – 12:30pm (6 people)
  • Graphic Design with Vinyl Cutter and Laser Cutter Training 1:00pm – 3:30pm (8 people)
  • MIG Welding 1:30pm – 3:30pm (3 people)

Worcester Center for Crafts

  • Learn to use the Potter’s Wheel: 9am – 4pm (12 people)
    • Get your hands dirty in this fun and sometimes messy 6-hour workshop as you learn the basic skills involved with “throwing” or working on the potter’s wheel.  Your artist-instructor will teach you how to make simple forms on the wheel which you can decorate with stamps and under-glazes.  Works will remain in the studio for drying and firing, receiving a coat of clear glaze and final firing.  Works will be available for pick-up by students in approximately 2-weeks’ time.
  • Crafting a Copper Mantra Bracelet: 9am – 4pm (12 people)
    • This exciting 6 hour workshop explores a variety of metalsmithing techniques to create a personalized cuff bracelet.  Led by a working artist and jewelry-maker, the workshop will make a copper bracelet to take home that day.  The first half of the workshop focuses on applying a hand drawn pattern to copper sheet then electro-etching the design to be used as the cuff bracelet.  Later, you will hand stamp your favorite quote, mantra or family saying onto another piece of metal which will then be riveted onto your etched cuff.  Lastly patina, adding color, and sealing methods will be applied to give your cuff a unique handmade look.

Tuesday, January 9th


  • Laser Cutter Training and 2D Design 9:30am – 12:30pm (6 people)
  • Graphic Design with Vinyl Cutter and Laser Cutter Training
    • 1:00pm – 3:30pm (8 people, 2 extra laptops needed)
    • 4:00pm – 6:30pm (8 people, 2 extra laptops needed)
  • MIG Welding 1:30pm – 3:30pm (3 people)

Worcester Center for Crafts

  • Glassblowing and Flame Working: 9am – 4pm (16 people)
    • Students will get a 6 hour peek at two exciting components of glass working: time in the Hot Shop learning to blow a simple vessel and time in the Flameworking Shop learning to manipulate glass with a torch.  Safety will be covered and a demonstration by an experienced glass artist will be followed by hands-on experience for students at the bench and torch.

Value Creation for Student Projects

WPI Trustee, Curt Carlson, will lead a full-day workshop on creating value and effectively pitching your idea with the NABC model.  This workshop will be offered to students who already have a project in the works.

Monday, January 8th

  • Full day workshop 8am – 5pm (50 people) in SL 305