Over the course of the semester, learners engaged in a variety of modules on different topics!
Week 1, Virtual Sound Studio
The first week of the MIT Full STEAM Ahead Immersion Program will have you moving and shaking as you join us in the Virtual Sound Studio! This activity is brought to you by the MIT Edgerton Center and will focus on asking what music is, observing and listening to the sounds in your environment, and making both sonic art and music of your own. To do this, we’ll be using the SoundTrap platform to collaboratively build pieces and share what we’ve all made by the end of the week. We look forward to hearing your sounds!
- Showcases featured Pablo (Polwar) Guerra, an industrial designer and media artist based in Santiago, Chile, and Stacy Lambert, a professional DJ, music producer, and US Manager for a 20 member all-female collective called DNB Girls who also goes by the stage name Mizeyesis.
Week 2, Spread of Disease
In this module, you will be asked to consider the factors that impact the spread of disease and to learn different ways of creating simple simulations that can be used to describe the rates at which disease spreads. This is no way meant to be comprehensive nor a full guide about epidemiology, but the activities and patterns you will follow about learning about new spread factors, tinkering with their values, and attempting to explain how and what you observe will give you all a better sense about how to understand the complexities of making large scale decisions about public health and safety when it comes to pathogens and viruses.
- Showcases featured Eric Klopfer, Professor and Head of MIT Comparative Media Studies and Writing.
Week 3, Exploring Outer Space with CubeSats
This module explores some of the more interesting aspects of how we both explore space and better understand the Earth using open-source satellite data. Through your own construction, you will work with open-source satellite data, understand some ways of collecting it, and build model CubeSats of your own!
- Showcases featured Avery Normandin, a learning designer at the MIT Media Lab, and Axel Garcia Burgos, a PhD student in MIT’s AeroAstro program who spoke about his high school experiences and how they led him to work at NASA!
Week 4, DIY Musical Instruments
This module will make a return to sound and you construct musical instruments from objects in and around your home! Using these instruments, we will ask for you to collaborate to record an original song in Soundtrap that will be shared on Soundcloud just like in Week 1!
- Showcases featured Sultan Sharrief, a trans-media activist, filmmaker, educator, and social entrepreneur, and W.J. Edward “Ed” Emerson, a Boston-based drummer and audio engineer.
Week 5, Improving the Lives of Others Through Inventing
Improving the lives of others through invention introduces students to what it means to invent and how they can engage in the process to identify issues that matter to them and prototype technological solutions to those problems. Inventing is just plain fun!
- Showcases featured Katelyn Sweeney, a mechanical and aerospace engineer and MIT alumna who discussed the merits of leveraging passions for STEM for human impact by “Inventing with Heart,” and Josef Kirkman, a member of the MIT Class of 2024 who is interested in engineering robotics and invention.
Week 6, Ampli Science: Paperfluidics + Nanoparticles
Created at MIT’s Little Devices Lab, Ampli was originally designed for global health labs where instrumentation and facilities are scarce. One can run an Ampli reaction on a regular office desk or kitchen table with little manual dexterity. We will use this week to learn about the system, run some experiments, and design our own uses by “hacking” the kit.
- Showcases featured Jose Gomez-Marquez and Anna Young, co-directors of the MIT Little Devices Lab, and Brian Mernoff, Education Coordinator at the MIT Museum.
Week 7, Ampli Science: Chemical Synthesis & Lateral Flow Diagnostics
Continuing with the Ampli system kits this week, we’ll learn how to use the platform to synthesize chemicals and create compounds. We’ll also develop an understanding of how to integrate these compounds into an end product that can be used to detect levels of COVID-19 virus in patients as well as other environmental and health challenges.
- Showcases featured Jonah Butler, a MIT alumnus who worked in the Little Devices Lab for three years.
Week 8, Final Portfolios
After a full season of weekly projects and collaborations, the students will be spending this week learning about how to communicate what they have learned, experienced, and created in the form of a personal portfolio. This collection of their work will serve as a means of reflection as each student revisits the projects they created during the time of the program and shares what they learned from the experience. Portfolios will also include the opportunity for students to describe themselves to a public audience as well as acknowledge goals that they aspire to work towards.
- Showcases featured Janine Liberty, Associate Director for Communications at MIT Open Learning, Chris Peterson, an admissions officer from MIT Admissions Office, and Lana Cook, Strategic Initiatives Officer for MIT’s Open Learning.
Week 9, Final Check-In
This week will be much simpler as the students use their time to check in with mentors about their portfolios, create a short video for the end of the program, and complete a short activity to prepare for a workshop on growth mindsets.
- Showcases featured Lourdes Alemán, Associate Director for Teaching and Learning at MIT’s Teaching and Learning Lab.
Week 10, Closing Ceremony
The final week! In closing out the program with the final ceremony, we looked back at the experience of the past 10 weeks by listening to what students and mentors felt that gained most about this program via the videos submitted.
- Showcase featured Julie Legault, CEO of Amino Labs, and Judith Amores Fernandez, Research Fellow at the MGH/Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab.
The general schedule for students can be found below. This was the case for most weeks, and a new activity began each week.
Every week, participants were expected to attend a two-hour session with their MIT Mentor on either Monday or Tuesday, check-in for an office hours period scheduled by the students’ mentors, and join for the program-wide meeting and showcase that takes place on Fridays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm (Time in Madrid, Spain). The amount of time students chose to put into their projects depended on them, but they expected to have an additional two hours of planning and building time each week.
The STEAM Kits included a selection of components and materials that participating students needed to build and participate with the modules.
- First kit includes:
- BBC micro:bit
- A variety of LEDs, wires, and motors.
- A second kit for modular life science experimentation will be sent home later in the semester. It includes: