- I don't think that there is any question that the MIT Media Lab is highly innovative. But they start with a very select group (MIT students) and select even further for the most innovative. It isn't clear whether they *teach* how to be innovative, even if they succeed at *being* innovative.
- Yeah, my college (Harvey Mudd) had clinic for engineering and a research requirement for science majors. They were great experiences, but we were really well prepared, highly qualified students who were juniors and seniors (so had already done two years of more typical classroom work). Trying to expand that to everyone without the classroom work isn't going to do it.
- Domain knowledge plays a big role as the above comments point out. WHen domain knowledge is limited as is typical with novices, then the success of programs like these are apt to be in the imaginations of the people running them.