Published 03/20/15


First-year student scores amazing IDEA experience with Super Bowl champs

Looking back at his decision to apply to Bryant, Nick Valeri ’18 (Andover, MA), says there was one thing the University offered that the rest of the schools he was considering did not.

“I was really excited to participate in the IDEA program,” Valeri says. “One of the reasons I wanted to come to Bryant was so that I could experience it.”

IDEA (Innovation Design Experience for All) is a 72-hour immersion into design thinking and rapid prototyping. It is a component of Bryant’s nationally recognized First-Year Gateway Experience, an innovative curriculum that is changing the way teachers and students approach learning.

“I was really excited to participate in the IDEA program. One of the reasons I wanted to come to Bryant was so that I could experience it.”

During IDEA, students work in small teams to create innovative solutions to real-world challenges faced by the arts, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Valeri’s team was tasked with brainstorming ideas to enhance the fan experience at the Hall of Fame for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

The group traveled to Foxboro, MA, to tour and observe the team’s museum before returning to campus to develop ideas for improving the experience. They presented their plan to business and community leaders including accomplished alumni, who offered valuable feedback.

Valeri and his teammates were thrilled when Hall of Fame Executive Director Bryan Morry then invited them to present their ideas at Gillette Stadium just weeks after the Patriots won the Super Bowl.  

“It was like the next step of the IDEA project,” Valeri says. “He invited us back to the Hall of Fame so that he could listen to the ideas that we had come up with,”

Valeri and his group shared their suggestions for new exhibits such as the “Gronk-O-Meter,” which measures how hard someone can spike a football compared to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Participating in the IDEA program was a plus for the Hall of Fame, too. “It’s great feedback for us,” Morry says. “The students were well-prepared and some of their ideas were cutting-edge and things that museums opening right now are doing.”

“Being able to present my ideas to someone who has great influence,” Valeri says, “was an unbelievable experience.”