2017 Modules & Staff

Module Descriptions

App Inventor + Internet of Things for Healthy Plants

The goal of this module is to introduce young learners to the potential of App Inventor at MIT, a blocks-based programming language, as a means for fostering their digital empowerment while growing their understanding of plant health and different forms of energy.

Learning Electrical Engineering Basics through an Infrared Controlled Circuit

This module will focus on the basic fundamental concepts of electrical engineering, as well power and energy transfer. These concepts will be reinforced by building a small circuit that drives a motor to spin a propeller, controlled via an infrared light remote.

Food as Fuel! Exploring the Energy in Food

We all regularly choose and consume food, making food a part of our everyday life. In this module, students will use science as a “tool to wonder with” in order to ask and answer some questions about energy and food.

Building and Modeling an Ethanol Biochemical Factory using Ampli Programmable Biochemical Construction Sets

Using a modular system for biochemical reactions called Ampli, students will use discrete plug-and-play elements to experience the design and biochemical programming of reactions that encourage tuning, tweaking, and real-time analysis via on board sensors.

Developing Creative Learning Skills with Scratch and Makey Makey

This module builds students' interest and confidence by encouraging them to create and code their own projects using the Scratch environment. They will go through a series of experiences to gain comfort with exploring, problem-solving, and expressing their ideas creatively with coding.

Collecting Wind Energy with Turbines

This activity will introduce students to the concept of harnessing the power of the wind for energy and common problems associated with wind turbines. For the project, students will build a windmill in teams with supplies such as foam core, cardboard, construction paper, duct tape, popsicle sticks, etc.

MIT Staff Bios


Eric Klopfer

is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. Klopfer’s research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


Angela Belcher

is a biological and materials engineer with expertise in the fields of biomaterials, biomolecular materials, organic-inorganic interfaces and solid-state chemistry and devices. Her primary research focus is evolving new materials for energy, electronics, the environment, and medicine.


Claudia Urrea

has over 20 years of experience in the field of Education and Technology. She 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. She has also worked at the Interamerican Development Bank as a consultant in the Education Sector, and for five years at the One Laptop Per Child organisation 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.


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.


Teresa de Figueiredo

has focused on education, energy, and international development at MIT. She is passionate about renewable energy and has worked on various projects including life cycle analysis, thermophotovoltaics, and materials selection for energy systems. In the education space, Teresa works with outreach groups on campus to mentor K-12 students and develop curriculum. She enjoys meeting new people and experiencing new places and has worked on projects in Spain, Peru, and South Africa. Teresa is looking forward to the CIS STEAM camp this summer and the opportunity to share her love for education and energy with the camp.


Krystal Lai

graduated this year from MIT with a degree in biological engineering and will be integrating her passions for problem solving and healthcare at Stanford Medical School in the fall. In an effort to share her love of interactive and hands-on learning experiences with other students, she has been involved in tutoring and STEM outreach programs at MIT. In her free time, she also enjoys writing stories, learning new recipes, and building things out of whatever she has around.


Kevin Ng

is a senior at MIT studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He currently works for the App Inventor team at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in the hopes of enabling 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!


Jaleesa Trapp

is an educator from Tacoma, Washington. After high school, Jaleesa attended the University of Washington where she received her Bachelor's degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering with a concentration on Hunan-Computer Interactions. She has spent the last 6 years teaching computer science formally and informally to youth in her community. This fall she will be joining the MIT Media Lab as a graduate student in the Lifelong Kindergarten research group.


Phoebe Tse

is a recent graduate who studied Computer Science at MIT. For her masters degree, she worked at the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program on StarLogo Nova, a block programming-based platform for 3D modeling and games. She is passionate about the intersection of technology and education and will be working in an Education Tech startup that focuses on data analytics for U.S. public schools. Outside of work, you can find Phoebe watching YouTube videos, strumming her ukulele, or learning how to cook.


Tiffany Wong (CIS '12)

graduated from MIT this past June with a B.S. and M.Eng. in computer science. She holds a teacher certification in high school physics and spent the past year as a research assistant at MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab. Tiffany has interned with Codecademy, Bank of America and MIT App Inventor. Her working products include Flipper, a web tool for teachers flipping their classroom, and ELK, a PD tool to help pre-service teachers better elicit learner knowledge. She will be working as a software engineer at Google this fall. Tiffany is CIS Class of 2012.


Emily Tsang

has focused her efforts in education, energy, and product design while at MIT. She is passionate about encouraging hands-on and innovative education techniques and has participated in several education projects, including designing a mechanical engineering workshop in Brazil and creating data content for a project aimed to help teachers better identify common misconceptions in the classroom. In the energy space, she has worked on a passive solar water heater and clean cook stove, as well as a previous internship at General Electric in Renewable Energy. Emily loves travelling, cooking, and meeting new people and is excited to be part of the CIS STEAM Camp this summer.


Veronica LaBelle

is a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering at MIT with minors in Energy Studies and Chinese. Outside of class she spends a lot of her time on the Solar Electric Vehicle Team and her a cappella group, so she’s usually either making parts or making music. Outside of those, she enjoys going on spontaneous adventures with friends, laughing at jokes, watching movies, and, of course, eating and sleeping.


Rianna Jitosho

is a sophomore at MIT studying mechanical engineering. She enjoys tinkering, designing, and building, and have found outlets for these curiosities through participating in the Solar Electric Vehicle team and mentoring at a maker-space. As a computer science enthusiast, she has taken multiple electrical engineering and computer science classes and is also considering a minor. Outside of academic pursuits, she loves trying new chocolate dessert recipes and traveling to different cities and countries.

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