The Innovators started off this morning with a visit to MIT. One groups went to visit the world-famous Koch Institute, the cancer research center. There, they engaged in a “short course” called “You Be the Cancer Researcher.” In an activity called “What does cancer look like?”, the students gained an overview of general cancer biology as well as an overview of MIT’s research approach, watching videos of cell division, examining tissue samples under microscopes, and learning the difference between healthy and cancerous tissue in a variety of organs. They then discussed the various manners in which cancer is treated and the importance of laboratory research. To test out different methods and improve their laboratory skills, the students pipetted solution into multi-well plates, learning how to use general equipment utilized in many experiments. Finally, the Innovators got an exclusive tour of two of the research engineering labs.

The other group visited MIT’s Media Lab, a lab that encourages the unconventional approach and mixture of many different fields of research. There, the Innovators learned about various ongoing projects, deepening their understanding of the benefit of a convergence of design and technology in the development and production of groundbreaking technology. More than the production side, they also learned about the potential of the collaboration of academia and industry. Tomorrow, the two will switch place!

The Innovators at MIT’s Media Lab!

The Innovators at MIT’s Media Lab!

Afterwards, the Innovators joined a few professionals at MIT for a career panel. They learned more about what to take into account when choosing their vocation, and reflected on their interests and potential. They also got a better sense of what a career in the STEAM industries mean. The career professionals present included the founder of CheckMate Diabetes, a platform dedicated to providing insight and trends and a virtual support platform to those afflicted with diabetes; a lead scientist at BioDevek, a startup founded at MIT dedicated to providing better medical devices and technology; the director of innovations at ChileMass, a nonprofit organization devoted to catalyzing collaboration between Chile and the Commonwealth in terms of energy, technology, education, and venture capital; and the cofounder and CEO of LuminDx, a company focused on improving skincare with technologies such as computer vision and AI.

Then, the Innovators took a break and went on tour of Harvard University, one of the best universities in the world located conveniently in Cambridge. Harvard is the oldest university in the United States, and its alumni include several US presidents, famous writers, politicians, scientists, musicians, and performers.

The Innovators visiting Harvard University

The Innovators visiting Harvard University

The Innovators build their own personal robots!

The Innovators build their own personal robots!

After Harvard, the Innovators came back to Suffolk for a session called My Robot and I, where they learned how to build their own robots. As a special gift, the Innovators get to keep the robots they build!. This session will go on for a couple of days and tomorrow, the Innovators will learn how to code their robots. Keep tuned for more information on their projects!

Emerson Monks