We have made it through the first week of the first session! Students are starting to wrap up their projects to get them ready to present to the program on Friday. Monday after class we took a trip across the river to visit the Mapparium and explored Newburry st. The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 is enhanced by A World of Ideas, an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world. After the Mapparium students were able to go down Newburry St. where a few had Acai bowls, icecream, and Shake Shack.
Today students stopped by a farmers market on the way home from classes and they were able to purchase some delicious berries. After dinner, students had the opportunity to go to Boston Common to explore and have dinner.
Today’s excursion took us to Lawn on D which is located near the Seaport District. The Lawn on D is an outdoor multi use recreational area that features, lawn games, food, hipster swings, and live music. Students enjoyed swinging, playing ping pong, and throwing the football around outside. They had the chance to eat at the Lawn on D or at a nearby restaurant. After a few hours we headed back to the residence where students were able to get dinner, or get ready for an evening outing at Davis Square.
Davis Square is a trendy area near the residence that has a mixture of restaurants and independent shops. Gillian found a Japanese restaurant in Davis Square so that some of the other students could try dumplings for the first time. Everyone reported back that the food was delicious and would definitely eat it again.
After a week of early mornings and working hard in class we were all looking forward to sleeping in a few more hours than usual. We took advantage of the beautiful weather forecast and headed down to Revere Beach where students played Frisbee, volleyball, and braved the chilly Atlantic Ocean. After the beach some students decided to stay behind in Harvard Square for dinner and free time.
Tonight’s program was trivia which consisted of 5 topics and a bonus round: Disney, science, landmarks, food, celebrities, and the bonus were questions about Lisa and I. The one question that stumped them all and could have changed the results was “What is the state vegetable of Oklahoma? Potato, tomato, watermelon, onion, or corn”. Teddy, Ruben, and Johnathan maintained a steady lead and managed to hold out through the final round.
Ruben is in the Augmented Reality course at Nuvu and is currently working on his project with another Summerfuel student, Harrison. They are working on creating a hotel building game where you can build it higher, adding new amenities, and upgrading current levels to increase profits. Figuring out all the mechanics and combining both party ideas has been a little challenging, but they are able to work together to create a great project.
Tonight students spent the evening exploring Quincy Hall, a popular tourist destination filled with a plethora of food stalls that gave everyone a chance to try local and international cuisines. The traditional lobster roll was an especially big hit! Quincy Hall is a lively area, with shops and street performers that entertained the students. We heard rave reviews of the fashion show montage that the boys put on in Urban Outfitters. Although we got caught in a bit of a downpour at the end of the night, it didn’t rain on our parade!
Lisa is a student that is in the Underwater Soft Robotics class at NuVu. Today Lisa worked on creating models from silicone for her class project. Her and her partner are working on creating a prototype that will clean oil from any body of water. Lisa was interested in this project specifically because a lot of ocean cleaning is focused on trash and plastic and there needs to be some attention to oil as well. Lisa likes in two weeks you are able to brainstorm an idea, create a prototype, and learn many things that can be beneficial for the future. She says that the coaches are very helpful in class to give good suggestions on creating their 3D models and using the fusion 360 software.
Tonight’s activity featured a friendly competition between 3 teams of four in some Minute to Win It challenges. The team with the most points got treated to Insomnia Cookie! Jenna, Anton, Lisa and Mann were the winning group! While some went out to get some ice cream sandwiches a few decided to watch a movie in the lounge!
Dimiter is in the Cyborg Enhancement program and is working with another student in the NuVu program. They both came up with an idea that will enhance the safety and lifestyle for folks with vision impairments. Their project is a proximity vest that will vibrate when objects are nearby to alert the individual of possible dangers.
Today everyone had an option to go to either the Museum of Fine Arts or go to the Prudential Center for some dinner/shopping.
The Museum of Fine Arts features several exhibits and different types of art. Many students really enjoyed the contemporary art. Aleira and Gillian really enjoyed the Gender Bending Fashion exhibit that was featured at the MFA.
Today we checked in with Jenna in the Augmented Reality class as they’re starting the design process. They spent time learning how to use the program Utility that will help them build their projects over the next two weeks. The challenge at hand was to make a ball move around a box using arrow keys – sounds simple but, as Jenna explained, the 3D aspect made it tricky to make the camera angles and light realistic. She’s excited about her project plan: designing an interactive game that incorporates the actual world around the player into the game. Jenna really enjoyed the ice cream trip to Lizzy’s last night and is looking forward to exploring more of Boston.
After classes, we all headed back to the residence where many students took advantage of the gym located on the ground floor of the residence. We ended the night relaxing and watching tv shows and movies.
Today we began classes at MIT! We had an early start but that didn’t stop our students!
We chatted with a student from each group at NuVu to get an idea of the exciting projects they’ll be working on for the next two weeks.
Vic told us that the Food Fabrication group made prototypes of their ideal and worst meals using cardboard and presented them to the class. She enjoyed the hands-on activity because they could make a physical representation of whatever was in their minds. The class discussed the future of food and are looking forward to a mystery taste-testing activity tomorrow.
Mann explained that the Cyborg Enhancement class went out on the MIT campus looking for possible “danger spots” and created a 3D map of things that might go unnoticed such as uneven steps, potholes, and easily ignored signs. He’s looking forward to brainstorming more ideas for the wearable tech that could help solve these problems – they’ve already discussed possibilities like glasses that can detect signs and vibrate to alert people distracted by their phones or music.
Underwater Soft Robotics
Teddy heard about the NuVu program from a neighbor who recommended it highly and he chose the Underwater Robotics class. Their exercise today involved engineering a device to pick up and move a donut through various obstacles using pneumatics. Although not everyone’s project was successful – and the donuts definitely weren’t safe for
consumption afterwards! – they enjoyed testing and reworking their initial ideas.
Reuben thought his Augmented Reality class was really cool because it showed him how to bring reality and technology together. Today the class worked on making a wearable version of traditional board games – he and his partner Anton used colored bandanas to make people in “Clue” characters in an interactive version of the game. They’re looking forward to translating real-world objects into digital forms.
After a dynamic day in the studios, we all came back to the residence for a little R&R and some gym time before dinner. Some students headed out in groups to try out local restaurants before everyone met up for an ice cream excursion with Lisa. We loved the variety of homemade flavors and vegan options on offer at Lizzy’s near Harvard Square. On the way back to the residence we all stopped in Harvard lawn for an impromptu game of musical chairs – Abigail won! – and some football, music, and chilling in the chairs. The group has bonded quickly and are putting the sports equipment and games to good use!