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NuVu at MIT Design Studios

Summer 2017 Human++


NuVu is a place where young students grow their spirit of innovation. They use their curiosity and creativity to explore new ideas, and make their concepts come to life through our design process. Our model is based on the architecture studio model, and every Summer we use imaginative themes to frame two-week long Studios in which students dive into hands-on design, engineering, science, technology, art and more!

This Summer, we'll be hosting the ADVANCED studios from our Summer 2017 Human++ Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology! In every Session, we'll be offering two advanced studios that bridge design, engineering, robotics, computation, art and science. Join us this July and August at NuVu at MIT Design Studios!



Theme & Topics

In Summer 2017, we’ll be traveling into the future to explore a world in which humans and machines combine forces to solve humanity’s biggest problems! And we aren’t just talking about everyday drones and self driving cars. This Summer, we’ll be exploring human-machine interfaces and how machines can be used in creative ways in every aspect of our life, i.e. graffiti drones, brain-controlled toys, bio-fashion, even virtual reality therapy devices for patients in hospitals.

For the last few decades, the rise of machines and machine intelligence has changed the role of humans, enhanced how we connect with one another, and grown our ability to predict the future. Computer systems and applications, designed by humans, are now able to process and analyze large amounts of data, learn new behaviors, adapt to changing conditions, and improve their decision making process with each instance.

In this age of advanced machine intelligence, how can we harness this power to our advantage? What does a future look like where humans and machines are working together to optimize outcomes? How will we shape our cities, our lives, and our learning based on artificial intelligence? How will humans and robots work hand-in-hand to enable new capacities? Whether it’s aerial drones working with ground drones to monitor and project crop harvests for farmers, or automating medical images for radiation therapy, or using human brainwaves to control robotic prosthetics, there’s a lot to explore in this human-machine world. This Summer 2017, our theme is “Human++” and we’ll be exploring the combined intelligence of humans and machines to solve big problems!


Sessions & Studio Offerings

The NuVu at MIT Design Studios includes 3 Sessions. Each Session is 2 weeks long. Each Session will have 2 unique ADVANCED studios (e.g., Augmented Health, Cyborg Athletes, Hacking Drones 2) offered to students. Students can only register for one Studio per Session. Students can attend one, two, or all three of the Sessions.

Session 1: July 10-21, 2017
Session 2: July 24-August 4, 2017
Session 3: August 7-18, 2017

The NuVu @MIT Design Studios are open to students ages 14 to 18. These Studios are ADVANCED and intended for high school students, post-high school gap year students, and/or returning NuVu students. For students interested in our regular, non-ADVANCED Studios, please visit ourSummer 2017 Human++ Programpage with details on our offerings.

This Summer, students will dive into a multitude of topics that explore the full realm of possibilities of human+machine intelligence. With Advanced Studio topics that include Hacking Drones, Soft Robotics, Cyborg Athletes, Augmented Health, and more, students will stretch their imaginations, gaining valuable knowledge, skills and technical prowess along the way. By working on real-world and interdisciplinary projects, students will learn about Science, Engineering, Programming, Electronics, Industrial Design, Fashion, Gaming, Art, Filmmaking and more.

In each Studio, students will be pushed out of their comfort zone, expanding their creative limits to come up with innovative solutions. They will be using digital fabrication tools (3D printers, laser cutter, CNC milling machines) to design interactive clothing, programming to build mechanical home assistant helpers, engineering tiny medical robots, and inventing soft prosthetics for rehabilitation. In a period of two weeks, students will go through the full design process: researching, conceptualizing, innovating, designing, and making. Working in small collaborative teams under the guidance of our expert Coaches who are professionals and academics at MIT, Harvard and other top universities, students will develop essential social, problem-solving, communication and technology skills. The Studios are inspired by cutting-edge research and inventions from MIT as well as the vibrant technology and design industries.



During our Summer 2017 Program @MIT Design Studios, we will be offering three 2-week Sessions with 2 unique Advanced Studios in each Session, for a total of 6 unique Studios. Tuition for each two-week Studio is $1,825 and includes daily lunch and all the equipment and supplies that will be needed for students’ projects. Transportation is not provided. Students are required to bring their own laptop to the program each day.


Session 1: July 10-21, 2017
Session 2: July 24-August 4, 2017
Session 3: August 7-18, 2017

Tuition for Student Attending One Session: $1,825


If a student is attending more than one Session, the following discounts will apply:

Tuition for Student Attending Two Sessions: $3,550 ($100 discount)
Tuition for Student Attending Three Sessions: $5,225 ($250 discount)

Returning NuVu Students and Families are eligible for the following Early-Bird Discounts if they register prior to December 31, 2016:

Tuition for Returning NuVu Student Attending One Session: $1,775 ($50 discount)
Tuition for Returning NuVu Student Attending Two Sessions: $3,500 ($150 discount)
Tuition for Returning NuVu Student Attending Three Sessions: $5,175 ($300 discount)

If two or more students in a family are attending NuVu’s Summer Program, each student will receive a $50 discount per Session.


Student registration is processed on a first-come, first-served basis and guaranteed once families enroll online and send their final payment. During our Summer 2017 Program @MIT Design Studios, we will be offering three 2-week Sessions with 3 unique Studios in each Session, (e.g., Hacking Drones, Soft Robotics, Augmented Health) for a total of 6 unique Advanced Studios. Students can only register for one Studio per 2-week Session. Students may attend one, two or three Sessions. The NuVu at MIT Design Studios are open to students ages 14 to 18. These Studios are ADVANCED and intended for high school students, post-high school gap year students, and/or returning NuVu students. For students interested in our regular, non-ADVANCED Studios, please visit our Summer 2017 Human++ Program page with details on our offerings.  A maximum of 10 students will be accepted for each Studio. Because Studio enrollment is limited, we recommend that you register and send your final payment as soon as possible in order to ensure Studio choices.

A deposit of $200 per Session must accompany each registration, and can be paid online through NuVu’s website. Deposits are refundable only until March 1st, 2017, after which they become non-refundable. Credit cards are accepted for online deposits only.  

Final payments must be made by check and received in full by June 1, 2017 otherwise the student’s spot will be forfeited to another student on the waitlist. After July 1, families can still register for Studios, but final payments must be made immediately after the online registration is completed.

Please make checks payable to NuVu. Include the name of the student and studio they are participating in on the check (e.g. Jane Smith, Soft Robotics). Mail the check to:

NuVu Studio
 450 Massachusetts Avenue
 Cambridge, MA 02139

If you have questions, please email us at summer@nuvustudio.org.

Residential Program

For our out-of-area and out-of-country students, we are also offering a Residential Program to complement our Day Program. This program is open to students ages 14-18 or grades 9-12. Learn more about our Residential Program at this link or by emailing us at summer@nuvustudio.org.


Each Advanced Studio is overseen by a NuVu Coach who offers support to students as appropriate to the Studio problem. Carefully screened NuVu Coaches come from a range of backgrounds and bring a diversity of expertise; Coaches include PhD students at MIT and Harvard, entrepreneurs who are building their own companies, artists who are doing groundbreaking work, and professionals developing innovative products in various fields. In addition, NuVu staff work closely with educators and experts in curriculum and assessment design to ensure the maximum educational impact of each program. Please visit our Team page to learn more about our permanent staff, who we are, our diverse expertise, and the other things that we love to do!

FAQ - Students

Which age group is attending NuVu @MIT Design Studios ?
NuVu’s students are between that ages of 14 and 18.  Where appropriate, NuVu Coaches split student groups into middle school and high school-aged teams in each Studio. The Advanced Studios are intended for high school students, post-high school gap year students, and/or returning NuVu students. Non-ADVANCED studios are appropriate for all levels of ability, and high school/experienced students are also encouraged to attend.

Thinking of a Gap Year? Why is a summer at NuVu a particularly good investment for this age group?
The time before high school and college is a time to explore new things. It is a time to discover who you are, what your interests are, and where you might want to go with your life. A summer at NuVu is a chance to do just this—to open yourself up to the world. With a variety of design challenges and engineering projects, students can pursue a developing interest or try something completely new. While at NuVu, students are exposed to new ideas and new perspectives on a daily basis. 

What kind of student is a good fit for NuVu?
NuVu’s students are young people eager to build new things, use technology, and work in a team of makers. They are curious and ready to learn in a new way. Because of the diversity of personalities and interests of NuVu participants, almost all of our students will find their niche in one or more of the Studios.

How do you ensure that all students receive personal attention?
Personal attention is not the exception but the rule at NuVu. Each student is part of a Studio and the staff-to-student ratio is approximately 1-to-6. The NuVu Summer Team of Coaches and Summer Program Coordinator are directly responsible for addressing the needs of each student. There are regular check-ins each day to ensure that the student is engaged, learning, and invested in their work.

FAQ - Logistics

Where is NuVu located?
NuVu shares a building with Central Square Theatre. The entrance to the building is set back from the main street and located in the building between CCTV and Veggie Galaxy. Our address is:

450 Massachusetts Avenue
 Cambridge, MA, 02139

Where is NuVu @MIT Design Studios located and how do I get there?
NuVu @MIT Design Studios is located in the heart of MIT's Campus, in Building 7, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.  There are a number of bus connections including the #1 Bus.

Is there parking NuVu @MIT Design Studios?
Public parking that is conveniently located is very hard to find.  Students and visitors are advised to take public transportation.  

What are the hours of the program?
The studio day begins at 9:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm with a one-hour lunch break in between.

How early may students arrive and how late may they stay?
Students may arrive as early as 8:45am. No advance notice is required. If students would like to work on their projects after regular studio hours, they may stay at NuVu until 4:00pm at the very latest. There is no additional charge for this extra hour. This is optional work time and is unsupervised.

Will there be lunch?
NuVu will provide a catered lunch daily. The cost of lunch is covered in the tuition fee. Your child may bring their own lunch, especially if they have any special food needs or preferences. NuVu has a refrigerator and a microwave on its premises that may be used by the students. Students are not allowed to leave NuVu during lunch unless permission is provided by their parents or guardian. Please note that students will not be supervised if they leave NuVu for lunch.

How long is the lunch break?
The lunch break is one hour, typically from 11:45am to 12:45pm.

What supplies do the students need to bring?
Students are required to bring their own laptop to the program each day and taken back home at the end of the day. Students are encouraged to bring an unlined sketchbook and writing utensils (pencils or pens). NuVu will supply all equipment, tools and supplies needed by students in each Studio.

What should I do if my child does not have a laptop?
NuVu has a very limited number of shared iMacs. If your student needs access to one of these iMacs, please let us know immediately via email (summer@nuvustudio.org). Students are allowed to use these iMacs on the premises of NuVu.

What is the recommended attire?
Students should dress in comfortable attire that can also withstand some hands-on work in our work shop. Students should wear closed-toe shoes (no flip-flops). We recommend bringing an extra sweater; it might get cold in our space due to the AC over the Summer.

What is the staff-to-student ratio?
NuVu’s staff-to-student ratio is approximately 1-to-6.

If parents have any concerns during the summer, whom should they contact?
Parents should contact the Summer Program Coordinator through NuVu’s Main Office via email (summer@nuvustudio.org) or phone (617-945-7716).