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Hands-On Space Exploration for Informal Learning Settings




MAS: Media Arts and Sciences

Faculty Supervisor:

Joseph Paradiso

Faculty email:


Apply by:



Avery Normandin: ave@media.mit.edu

Project Description

The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) at MIT Media Lab seeks an undergraduate researcher to pioneer the development of learning experiences, materials, and programming related to space exploration and discovery. Beginning in spring 2018, partially in an aim to fulfill NASA’s vision of 50 CubeSats from 50 States in 5 Years, SEI launched the Climate CubeSat Co-building Outreach Program (C3), in which Boston-area youth partner with Media Lab and AeroAstro researchers to design climate-related payloads for deployment on mock small satellites. The C3 program has since been remixed and reformatted for a series of additional outreach-related efforts, most notably the Space Explorations in Public Libraries series, created in partnership with PLIX--the Public Library Innovation Exchange at MIT Media Lab. In close collaboration with SEI and the Media Lab Learning Initiative, the UROP will be responsible for further co-designing learning experiences related to C3 and other space-centered research at the Media Lab. These experiences will include cubesat 'kits' for deployment in an expansive network of public libraries and local high schools. In addition, the undergraduate researcher will have the opportunity to co-facilitate C3 sessions (and adapt the curriculum for online learning environments) as well as local playtests with Cambridge- and Somerville-area youth. Supervision will be provided by the project coordinator, with expectation for weekly meetings. In addition to experiential learning, the UROP will have the opportunity for training and guidance in the realm of creative learning pedagogy and facilitation in informal learning settings.


Experience in working with youth in formal or informal learning settings; some technical familiarity with hardware and electronics a bonus; first-year undergraduates with an interest in creative learning and education encouraged to apply.