SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Lucas Cerbelli believes the warnings about the long-term damage caused by overcharging his mobile phone. Still, he finds it most convenient to charge his device overnight.

Over the month of January, the Wofford College sophomore from Madrid, Spain, decided to design a solution — a phone charger and holder that raises the phone up and away from the power when the charge is complete. Cerbelli used 3D computer-aided design software, a 3D printer and electronics prototyping tools to complete the project as part of Inventor's Lab, an Interim class taught by Dr. James Bednar, associate professor of philosophy.

The class used, adapted and modified several current and emerging technologies in new and novel ways, both to create new things and to discover new uses of extant technology.

Joshua Nunez, a first-year physics major from Brownsville, Texas, took the class because he wants to be an engineer, and Inventor's Lab "is engineering on a basic level." He enjoyed experimenting with different projects and different technologies.

Christopher Overton, a first-year student from Spartanburg, also chose the course because he wants to go into engineering.

"Knowing how to use 3D design software and printers is a good skill to have," he says. "The technology is getting more and more common." He believes that one day the ability to use a 3D printer will be as essential as the ability to use a computer.

Interim, Wofford College's January term, frees students and faculty to spend the month focused on a single topic designed to expand the walls of the traditional classroom, explore new and untried topics, take academic risks, observe issues in action, develop capabilities for independent learning and consider different peoples, places and professional options. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Interim at Wofford.