2018 Modules & Staff

Module Descriptions

Waterkinesis: action at a distance mediated through EEG recordings of brain waves

The goal of the project is to have the students program and calibrate an EEG-driven system (headsets) for causing giant plastic balls (with arduino motors inside) to move and ripple in pools of water in response to changes in human emotional states. The project will blend electrical engineering, neuroscience, emotional awareness, and some basic software development to allow the students to experience a form of telekinesis firsthand..

Algae in our backyard : An ArtScience Exploration

This course is an exploration of marine algae (phytoplankton) through several scientific and artistic processes. The content will cover several important topics in ocean biology and ocean change, frequently linking back to more “local” issues in the South China Sea, and several key methodologies in both art and science. Students will be exposed to different scientific data, from microscopy (using local water samples for observations) to satellite (using downloadable maps of the South China Sea), and learn how these data help us understand local issues that affect the ocean.

Engineering With Water

Students will work with water to understand how it can both affect engineering projects as component of nature and be used as a component of a design project. Students will learn about Natural Water Flow, focusing on concepts like erosion and water flow by building mockups to show how rivers form. Tables capable of sitting at a particular tilt angles will be covered in sand, and students will adjust both the amount of water flowing and the angle of the table, to simulate a meandering streams or coursing rivers. Students will experiment with art and engineering by making simple fountains with internally reflected light, giving the illusion that the light is "flowing".

Bring Your Own Water: Exploring Hong Kong’s Aquatic Microbiome

In this module, students will explore Hong Kong’s Aquatic Microbiome in a hands-on, experimental, and creative manner, using foundational biology techniques. We will introduce students to key concepts in marine ecology, biodiversity, evolution, microbiology, and conservation, with interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities in which students engage with the microscopic life around them.

Ocean Acidification

The module will focus on acidity and its effect on the ocean ecosystem. This module introduces the concept of acidity beginning with solutions, ions, and concentrations. Students will be given different household chemicals and drinks (milk, seltzer water, baking soda dissolved in water, soapy water, tap water, Vitamin C tablets dissolved in water, etc.) and will be asked to make hypotheses as to the acidity of each solution before testing them. As they reflect on their findings, they will be asked to think about the consequences for themselves and the environment when it comes to using too much of some of the chemicals they tested and the changing pH level of the water. In parallel, the facilitators will set up a shell-dissolution experiment for them to visually witness the effect of acidity on organisms in the ocean. It will then give examples of the influence of acidity on chemical and biological processes taking place in the ocean, such as carbon storage and calcification.

Playing with Scratch

Students will experiment and play with Scratch and other peripherals as an introduction to playful learning. Since this module will function as an introduction to the camp, facilitators will be working with different student groups to build Scratch animations and games based on the campers’ varying levels of experience. This activity will be done with all the students.


2018 MIT Staff Bios

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Ying Gao

graduated from MIT this year, majoring in math and economics. Her research focus is economic theory, and she is passionate about developing extracurricular opportunities for engagement in math, science, and society. As an undergraduate, she organized math and science competitions for middle and high school students, served as a TA in the Discrete Math for Computer Science class at CSAIL, and mentored independent research projects in game theory and combinatorics. Outside of work, Ying enjoys board games, reading and writing stories, and walking around the city.

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Danielle Olson

is a Ph.D. Student in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at MIT and works as a Research Assistant in the Imagination, Computation, and Expressions (ICE) Lab within the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory where she researches applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in virtual reality (VR) narratives. Danielle graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from MIT in 2014. In 2013, she co-founded Gique Corporation, an educational nonprofit corporation which exists to inspire and educate Boston-area youth in science, technology, engineering, art+design, and math (STEAM) through transformational hands-on learning experiences. Following her graduation from MIT, Danielle worked as a Program Manager at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center.

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Claudia Urrea


has over 20 years of experience in the field of Education and Technology. Claudia Urrea is currently working at the Strategic Educational Initiative within the MIT Office of Digital Learning in strategy, management and coordination for the new PreK-12 Initiative. Claudia Urrea has worked at the Interamerican Development Bank as a consultant in the Education Sector, and 5 years at One Laptop Per Child organization as Director of Learning. Her areas of interest include online learning and assessment, curriculum design, preK-12 and higher education, education for developing countries, teacher professional development, educational programming and robotics, and maker education.

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Joe Diaz

is a MIT graduate and advocate of STEAM activities for K-12 students. An alumnus of MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program, he has spent time both inside and outside of the classroom, developing programmes for that kids that do not always have access to quality education. He currently works as a programme coordinator for MIT’s pK-12 Action Group.

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Yara Azouni

is a senior at MIT studying Mechanical Engineering and Product Design. She is very interested in 3D printing and has worked at MX3D in Amsterdam where she designed and printed parts of the world's first 3D printed pedestrian steel bridge. As a Palestinian, Yara hopes to use her engineering skills to better the lives of people in the Middle East as well as other developing regions. She has worked in the Development-Lab at MIT where she designed and 3D printed educational toys for children in Pakistan. She has also traveled to many countries, such as Armenia and Italy, to teach courses like Toy Product Design and Debate, and she aspires to become an educational entrepreneur in the future. Next year, Yara will move to Dubai to pursue a career in management consulting in order to gain a better understanding of the change that can be achieved in the Middle East. This will allow her to combine her experience in engineering and management to solve both technical and real-life problems.

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Kevin Ng


is a Masters student at MIT studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He currently works for the Teaching Systems Lab at the Office of Open Learning at MIT looking to improve teacher education through simulations. Previously, he worked with the App Inventor team at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab to better enable K-12 students to easily create mobile Android applications. He is interested in working in the intersection between technology and education, hoping to find ways to both use technology to improve education and improve curriculum in computer science. He has taught Python and MIT App Inventor in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Barcelona, Spain and also worked at a tech start-up in Sydney, Australia that focused on improving communication between teachers, students and technology industry leaders. As you can see, Kevin loves traveling and working with students!

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Tricia Shi

is a recent graduate of MIT in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She researched her Master's thesis with the MIT Game Lab and will work in the gaming industry after the summer. She has taught in many classrooms, from elementary school math clubs to computer science classes at MIT. She enjoys bridging the gap between games and the classroom, bringing fun into learning

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Phoebe Tse


is a recent bachelors and masters degree graduate who studied Computer Science at MIT and has a strong interest in the intersection of education and technology. After graduating, she continues to pursue her passions as a software engineer at Panorama Education, a Boston-based education tech start up that builds feedback surveys and reports, early-warning indicators with data analytics, and social-emotional learning tools for schools across the globe. Phoebe loves Hong Kong and is excited to be returning with the MIT STEAM Camp team!

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Lily Zhang

is currently completing her Master's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She previously graduated from MIT with a Bachelor's degree in EECS in 2017. Lily currently works in the Computational Cognitive Science Group and is researching how to build computational models of cooperative and competitive behavior in humans. In the fall, she will move to San Francisco and begin working as a software engineer at Grail, a cancer research company. When she's not coding, Lily loves to dance, act (she minored in Theater Arts!), volunteer with kids, and do the daily New York Times crossword puzzle. Lily has been to Hong Kong once before, and she's super excited to go back this summer!

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Rana Odabas

is a rising junior at MIT studying Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Biological Engineering and Product Development. She is fascinated by the intersection of engineering, biotechnology, and consumer product design, and is interested in working with biomedical devices in the future. Rana has had a lot of experience working with students, and most recently was in Grenoble, France, developing high school workshops on microscopy and low-cost sensor technology. This summer, Rana will be working with the Biomechatronics group in the MIT Media Lab on a project to optimize prosthetic socket design. Outside of academics, she is a rower on MIT's Crew Team and a Resident Peer Mentor in her dorm. Rana is very excited to spend part of her summer teaching at MIT's STEAM Camp in Hong Kong!

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Brooke Huisman

is a first year PhD student at MIT in Biological Engineering. Her research focuses on understanding the immune system in order to develop better immune-based therapeutics. Before beginning at MIT, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, with minors in German and Mathematics. Brooke enjoys engaging in STEAM, working with students, and travelling; she is especially enthused to combine these three interests at the CIS STEAM camp!

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Devora Najjar

is a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab focusing on ethically-minded bioengineering projects. Currently working to develop the first mammalian daisy drive systems, she has a strong interest in the implications for biotechnology policy, biosecurity, and public discussions. In her free time, Devora enjoys developing educational curricula focused around ecology and the environment, cooking, and hiking . She previously studied chemical and biomedical engineering at the Cooper Union.