Sunflowers for Experiential Learning

Saba Ghole

NuVu Summer student, Thomas Galletti, launched a campaign called “Sunflowers for Experiential Learning” to raise money for teachers and students to attend NuVu’s summer programs and experience hands-on learning, through the sale of beautiful sunflowers. By the end of January, Thomas had raised over $7500! His efforts will bring one Baltimore public school educator to Cambridge for NICE, our NuVu Innovation Camp for Educators, and one student from Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women to attend our 2-week Summer Residential Program. We are so proud of Thomas' steadfast efforts to support experiential learning and build a relationship between the experiential learning advocacy project that he began and the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.

Student Exchange Soundscapes Studio

Saba Ghole

This Spring, our students are collaborating with students at our NuVuX partner school, Kamehameha School, in Maui, HA, on a large-scale, on-site installation project as part of a student exchange studio.

The experience began with a studio called "Soundscapes" lead by NuVu Coaches and outside experts, Matt Mueller and DJ, from The PickUp Music Project. Students created site-specific sound sculptures to activate the lawn outside of the Cambridge Public Library. Students learned about the history of musical instruments, the practice of sound sculpture, the physics of sound, and the importance of participatory music in culture and society.

The second part of the studio is now being led by NuVu Coach Ammar Ahmed and NuVuX Fellow at Kamehameha School, Nakeia Medcalf.  Working under their guidance, our senior students are working with students from Kamehameha School to create site-specific soundscape installations for their campus in Maui. NuVu seniors Maddie Johnson, Tinna Grönfeldt, and Chris Kitchen are collaborating with students in the Capstone Engineering course at Kamehameha School to develop projects rooted in nature and culture that will culminate in an on-site project install with our students traveling to Hawaii this March.

Fashion Designer Erin Robertson at NuVu

Saba Ghole

Fashion designer Erin Robertson has joined us this winter as our Coach-in-Residence, leading a studio called "Solarpunk Fashion." Erin is the winner of Project Runway Season 15 and the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America Teen Vogue Scholarship. Her work has been featured in Marie Claire, Nylon, Teen Vogue, Forbes, Elite Daily and more. Students in Solarpunk Fashion are creating conceptual fashion that reaches for inspiration from the internal self out to the solar system. Solarpunk is a plausible near-future sci-fi genre which takes on historical aesthetics and a connection with crafts and handwork, combined with a sustainable future. Students are combining traditional hand crafts with digital fabrication.

Students' Winning Design Under Construction

Saba Ghole

Last year, a student team from our NuVuX program at All Saints' Academy won a competition for the design of a sculpture at Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, Florida. The park is being designed by award-winning design firm Sasaki Associates. The construction of the site is the first large scale infrastructural project aimed to reclaim abandoned sites and focus on the walkable Lakeland of tomorrow. The collaboration for the student project is a result of a partnership with Bonnet Springs Park and Platform Art and Art Research Enterprises. The student project is situated in the sensory Garden. The sculpture will play on sound and entice users with operable bangles as they pass through the garden. As part of the collaboration, the student group will visit the Art Research fabrication shop in Lancaster, PA and work on the sculpture themselves! The sculpture is now being fabricated but on hold for our students to add the final touches. The project will be installed on-site in the coming months. Congrats to the winning team!

The Ledger Article on Students Designing Follies for Bonnet Springs Park

Design Squad Global

Saba Ghole

Amiyr, one of our full-time students, was featured on Design Squad Global for his eco-friendly invention. Check out his Seed Launching Backpack to sustain pollinator-friendly plants.

Watch the Design Squad episode!

Seed Launching Backpack
Kid engineering Amiyr wants his community to have more pollinator-friendly plants, so he invents a backpack that launches seeds as he walks around his neighborhood!

Suissnex Workshop

Saba Ghole

On October 11th, we welcomed Professor Azra Aksamija, MIT, Professor of Architecture, Art, Culture and Technology Department, in collaboration with Suissnex to run a workshop at NuVu. This pilot program used a new collaborative approach to preserve threatened cultural heritage through the creation of an interactive art piece.

Students heard from Professor Aksamija about her work with refugee populations to bring cultural elements from their homeland to temporary shelters. In addition, students heard from Patrick Michel from the University of Lausanne, who provided a framing introduction on the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra, including its history and relevance.

The workshop was a hands-on collaboration with NuVu students who took ancient embroidery from Palmyra, and translated it into contemporary designs using the cross-cultural narrative between the students’ personal experience and the Historic site. These pieces will continue to travel as Azra takes her workshop to refugee populations and students around the globe. 

NuVuX in Jordan

Saba Ghole

Laser cutter delivery to the roof, check. MDF tables, check. Rolling chairs, check...

The innovation studio in Amman, Jordan is slowly coming to life. This year, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Ruwwad, a nonprofit community development organization which works with disenfranchised communities through education, youth volunteerism and the grass roots organizing. Ruwwad's approach encompasses an array of programs and initiatives that strengthen agency in students. In addition to their on-site programming, we will be working in partnership with Karam Foundation, our NuVuX partner, to develop a studio-based innovation program for youth in Amman. The innovation curriculum will be based on the NuVu-Karam program which has been running in Turkey since 2017.

To learn more about Ruwwad, read more online.

"Ruwwad developed as an idea in mid-2004, when Fadi Ghandour, founder of Aramex International, one of the world’s leading logistics companies, discussed his intentions to play a more active role in community development with his company’s management team and CSR department. Until that time, Aramex had consistently supported social, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives. And so, in 2005, the decision was taken to establish a foundation that would transcend Aramex’s CSR programs. The foundation would involve other private sector players and work with a specific low-income community rather than allocate resources to various individual projects, and it would carry the name of Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya – The Arab Foundation for Sustainable Development."

Fall Podcasts from Across NuVuX

Saba Ghole

We have two podcasts to share from our NuVuX Network from this Fall. The first one comes from NuVuX-Odyssey in California and features our NuVu Fellow Aaron Laniosz who heads the Idea Lab program at Odyssey STEM Academy. The second podcast comes from our NuVuX partner, Wheeler School in Rhode Island, and features teachers and our NuVu Fellow Shaunta Butler who lead a new studio program at the school.

Take a quick break, sit back, and let your ears loose...

Idea Lab (Episode 9, feat. Aaron Laniosz)

Wheeler Interview with NuVuX Team

Mentor Day

Saba Ghole

At our NuVuX school in Woodstock, Vermont students are collaborating with industry mentors through a new series. As part of the new Innovation Lab Hive at WUHSMS, both Middle School and High School students were introduced to two mentors through a brief design. The students were asked to build Superhero Wearables which highlight and enhance the talents, passions, and expertise of their assigned mentor. Students began with interviews and discussions with the mentors followed by very rapid prototyping. One mentor, Alex Melville, is a young professional who has recently been working on cryptocurrencies and blockchaining with a passion for the outdoors and backpacking for whom one group designed glasses which open any code to him, while another created a chest plate which projected his code onto the world (example, Alex could walk up to a wall and code a door, and walk through that wall). Also with us was Frank O'Connell who has a history of pushing innovation at Reebok to Mattel to Indian Motorcycles. For him, students created wearables mostly directed toward communication such as a telepathy helmet and an idea capturing lightbulb. 

Inaugural NuVuX Summit

Saba Ghole

NuVuX Summit Programming Recap

At the end of September, we hosted our inaugural NuVuX Summit. The event was a gathering of our domestic and international partners, and leading members of the NuVuX community. The event featured panels on the future of learning and work, time for partners to share experiences, and a discussion on how NuVu can continue to push the educational boundaries in the coming decade.  The event was also a celebration of a decade of innovative learning.

Following a keynote speech about ‘The State of the World’ delivered by Meghna Chakrabarti, host of NPR’s On Point, we hosted panel discussions and shared some of the current goings-on in our partner schools. Since the launch of NuVuX in 2015 and its mission to bring studio-based learning and the design process to classrooms of all kinds, the network has successfully delivered the architectural studio model to traditional schools around the world. The NuVuX Summit was the first of its kind to build community and share resources and ideas with one another.

Future of Learning

Carrie Jung, Senior Education Reporter at WBUR moderated a conversation with educational figureheads Rob Riordan and Tony Wagner. The discussion included ideas and projections on the current models of education, and how alternate models will evolve and emerge over the next ten years. Tony and Rob offered insightful knowledge on the intersection of skills, and new kinds of partnerships that must be fostered in education in order for students to succeed in the future. As innovation and technology drives changes in the way industries function, the roles of teachers and students will shift.

Future of Design, Innovation & Technology: Predicting the Next 10 Years

For a discussion on the future of Design, Innovation & Technology, we invited Yihyun Lim, Betsy Goodrich and Ron Witte. The panelists answered poignant questions about the integration of virtual and physical experiences into our daily lives, and how this will transform aspects of our learning, social, work, and family life. Panelists shared examples of how design, innovation and technology serves larger societal goals, in addition to the biggest challenges brought on by new technologies and innovations.

The Global Perspective

The Global Perspective panel was an intriguing and necessary conversation around the greatest impact of globalization thus far, from a social, economic, cultural, and political perspective. The panelists Kate Mytty, Nasser Rabbat, and Joost Bonsen shared examples of work in developing countries and emerging markets focused on innovation and entrepreneurship that has lead to change in more unusual areas. Recognizing the growing economic inequalities worldwide, panelists discussed and challenged the various efforts taken to work with marginalized and low income communities. As interdependence between nations and cities grows, we as a community must consider how changes in one place impact another, in addition to how we connect students and communities from different cultures in a deep and meaningful way.

Future of Work

Rachel Reiser, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Students at BU’s Questrom School of Business facilitated a discussion with leading executives in marketing, engineering, and health innovation. The panelists included Leslie Forde, Lindsey Bleimes, and Sumit Nagpal. The changing nature of work will affect the type of skills, mindsets and knowledge students should be learning in school. As technology continues to shape our personal and professional lives, work-force readiness will be reframed and redefined. Panelists shared experiences in how companies are blurring the boundaries between industries through their work, and the value of diverse teams in industries that are more and more interconnected.