'What causes (spontaneous) nose bleeds' wondered one of Ti2's fifth graders. She won a Cambridge Science Festival Curiosity Award for her question and poster. Winners were celebrated at an awards ceremony at MIT.
The windtunnel that MIT postdoc Dr. Bruce David Jones built at the Cambridge Hackspace and donated to us was on display today along with many other cool maker outputs from the Cambridge Hackspace at MIT's Mini Maker Faire. It was a lively and fun event that embodied the creative spirit and reminded me of how MIT is such an amazing playground for scientists, engineer and makers. It also was just another demonstration of the many faceted efforts MIT makes to reach out beyond its institutional borders. There were many children, young and old, having fun sharing and learning.
This afternoon, students in the Science of Renewable Energies course were learning what data are, how to collect them carefully and then how to use to data to detect trends. They talked about when to impute meaning to the trends they saw. A mother who was listening in texted her husband to indicate that her son was learning university-level material.
We were excited that the students demonstrated the capacity, self discipline, collaborative spirit and smiles while building their dataset. One student did not want to leave even though class had ended. Not unusual at Ti2.
Next week they will enter their data into excel and learn how to interpret basic regression analyses. Why? Because they are capable of doing it, and it offers them another (and likely new) way to think and analyze.
These types of joyful learning moments are the norm in our courses. Its tough to report on them regularly, however.
We are truly so busy focusing on student learning. So, we may not be marketing gurus or have a big budget and corporate backers, but something fundamentally special is going on here. Young people are engaging in amazing and meaningful learning, and they are doing so with joy and humor.
Sorry, we did not have time to take pics for posting.
Excitement and sharing to inspire and be inspired was palpable during our trip to Harvard's Weiss Labs. Scientists volunteered time to discuss their work with our students, and they let students observe and sometimes interact with their research equipment and materials. Students engaged with researchers who are working on creating bloos vessels on 3D printers, amongst other things. It was an amazing visit! The major takeaway--with 3D printing, complexity is free.
None of these opportunities happen without the capabilities and generosity of real people--incredible people. Ryan Truby is one of these spectactular individuals. Ryan, a Harvard graduate student, organized and orchestrated the entire visit only to depart towards the end to attend to a lab outing and social that he had also taken the lead on.
Enjoy the gallery of photos.
MIT grad, Nick Sondej, MS, dropped by yesterday to visit with students. He joined a discussion on 3D printing in manufacturing and in the production of space vehicles after he talked about his work as a mechanical engineer in a 3D printing start up. Despite a demanding schedule, Nick took time to inspire some young people about the possibilities that lie ahead of them. Thanks Nick!