Are you thrilled by the idea of what lies beyond our own planet? Are you a Sci-Fi enthusiast who dreams of whipping through the rings of Saturn, exploring the inner depths of a black hole, or inhabiting a world with low gravity? On Earth, we are tethered to the core of our planet in a perfectly pressurized environment while the weight of the unseen forces of gravity pull us ever downward. Imagine if we were to enter the atmospheric orbits of outer space, free to explore weightlessness that expands throughout the vast, boundless universe. How would we acclimatize to this foreign environment that strikes curiosity and awe yet is not meant for human survival? The idea of inhabiting space, once only explored by science fiction, is being developed, tested and deployed by entities such as NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and university research programs across the globe. For centuries, humans have distinguished themselves as a species by their use of tools to thrive in inhospitable environments, and that process of tool building has begun for outer space. NASA has been investigating this phenomenon with eight month long zero-gravity simulation missions and funding proposals for human dwellings on Mars. MIT’s Space Exploration Initiative has developed instruments that only play in zero-gravity, scents which capture memories of homeland, and other projects that were deployed last year in parabolic flight.
In this studio, we will dig deep into the possibilities of space design and design objects, devices and experiences to make life for humans in space more livable and enjoyable! We’ll use VR simulations to analyze the effects of low gravity, isolation of space life, and limited resources available to humans endeavoring into the outer universe. We’ll explore the physical demands of living in space coupled with the psychological impact of life in the Cosmos and design devices that make living in space...feel a little more like home. We will look at things such as devices which simulate an embrace from a distant loved one, body extensions that help people function in low gravity, or bots that will help us land on a comet. The students’ imagination will be stretched beyond Earth to visualize a future life away from the confines of our blue planet.
Through this studio, students will learn the basics of electronics, microcontrollers and computer programming. They will learn how to integrate external sensors (from simple switches and buttons to heat/temperature, light, gas, touch) and actuators (such as motors, lights, speakers, solenoids, valves, fans) into their designs to create responsive products. Students will also learn the engineering, 3D modeling, robotics, and programming skills to bring their vision to reality.
Physics (Electricity, Magnetism)
Robotics (Arduino, Sensors, Actuators)
Digital Fabrication (Laser-cutting, 3d Printing)
- Enrolling students must be between the ages of 14 to 18 (or grades 9-12)