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Echoes is a sonified three-dimensional map that uses cymatics to showcase the activity of each NuVu hub around the world. It aims to connect and bring together all the NuVu partner schools through the visualization of sound. The project marked the launch of our first NuVuX Student Exchange between partner schools. Students from NuVu and our partner Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii, collaborated on the project over a 2 month period and ended the joint studio with a physical exchange.

NuVu Seniors, Maddie, Chris and Tinna, began working on Echoes as part of the Soundscapes studio in which students created site-specific sound sculptures to activate the lawn outside of the Cambridge Public Library. The senior chose to continue their project as part of their Senior Exchange Studio. Working in partnership with students from NuVuX partner, Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii, the three seniors spent 3 months developing the concept, designing, building and planning for the installation of a sound-based piece based on KS's campus. The Studio culminated in a week-long trip to Maui in early March lead by Amanda, one of our amazing Coaches. During that trip, Maddie, Chris and Tinna installed the final piece, and presented Echoes in a final exhibition alongside KS students who had created projects as part of the virtual exchange.

About Echoes

Echoes is comprised out of a table-sized dish, speakers, and liquid. Under the liquid-filled dish, the speakers are placed where the NuVu hubs would be on a traditional map. When activated, each speaker plays a distinct audio clip from each NuVu partner school. The frequencies of the audio clips cause the liquid to vibrate in intricate ways, which causes the ripples from the vibrations from each hub to collide and merge into one, showcasing and promoting the connection of the schools.

Cycles of 24-hour recordings taken at the individual NuVu hubs are played through the speakers. Depending on the activity and time of the NuVu location, the sound exiting the speakers will activate the ferrofluid above and stimulate cymatics. When people are active at a NuVu location during the day, the cymatics above the continent are heightened based on the ambient noise level. When it is night-time in that time zone, the ambient noise level is not high enough to activate the cymatics. When two close-by locations are active at the same time, these waves interfere with each other, creating a new pattern, and showing the potential connection between the two spaces. Through this 24-hour cycle, Echoes generates an engaging visual representation of NuVu's activity all over the world.

Sunflowers for Experiential Learning

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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."

Launch of NuVu Innovation School in Scotland

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It's official! We launched our first full-time innovation school outside the U.S. in Glasgow, Scotland with our partner Kelvinside Academy. This moment came after a two year partnership between NuVu and Kelvinside Academy to rethink the future of learning and develop a hub for furthering our mission of creative learning.

NuVu Innovation School, which officially opened its doors on October 10, provides a unique learning environment designed around creativity, innovation and enterprise. The new school is designed to face up to the challenge of a fast-moving jobs market and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The school will be a nexus for student innovation, R&D on studio pedagogy, teacher professional development, and corporate training.

Partnerships are already in place with a number of companies, including leading international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty, which built and constructed the specially designed £2.5m innovation school, to use NuVu as a learning hub to develop the workforce of the future. 

At NuVu, pupils engage in hands-on problem solving, working on collaborative projects to develop creative solutions for real-world social and environmental problems. 

The new school presents a challenge to the Scottish Government by providing an example of what a new national curriculum around digital skills and future learning could look like. It also could provide a solution to teacher shortages, as instead of being taught passively by a teacher, pupils learn by doing and utilize 3D modeling software, 3D printers, laser cutters and a range of industry-standard tools to make their visions a reality, with industry and academic experts acting as mentors to help pupils find their own way through the process. 

NuVu first launched in the UK with Kelvinside Academy summer schools in 2017 and 2018. Now, the model is fully embedded within the curriculum.

NuVu will not only provide a unique learning environment for Kelvinside Academy, but talks are already underway to open its doors to pupils at local schools as well as exploring NuVu hubs in local authorities across the UK. NuVu will also be implemented for teacher CPD throughout Scotland and corporate team building experiences for businesses. 

NuVu Innovation School Director, David Miller, believes the Innovation School will become a beacon for what schools of the future could look like. 

David will work closely with Kelvinside Academy Rector Dan Wyatt to embed NuVu core philosophies throughout the school. He said: “The education system hasn’t changed in more than 40 years, but the world has. I believe the new Innovation School will resolve a huge tension in education; everyone knows the model has to change but until now, there’s been no viable alternative. We believe this powerful learning model could and should become mainstream and we hope the Innovation School will serve as a case study for government and policy makers of what can be achieved. 

“This is just the beginning, but the momentum is with us. The current system intensifies the idea that people leave school as a success or a failure, and for some, it can take many years to recover from this binary view of the world. Our model encourages a growth mindset. There are always ways to improve. There’s no specific target or outcome; the NuVu model empowers children and frees them from the depressing constraints of assessment. 

“The design, technical and meta-skills being developed and enhanced in the Innovation School – together with an agile mindset – are exactly what a range of Scottish businesses and academics are telling us they need.” 

To find out more about NuVu at Kelvinside Academy, visit 

Fall Podcasts from Across NuVuX

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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