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MIT Week at NEIA

NEIA had the honor of being a part of two different MIT led events in the same week!

Our students speaking at the Day of AI Event

Day of AI at the Museum of Science
Though 10,000 educators (from around 110 countries across the world) participated in MIT RAISE’s Day of AI, NEIA was the only school invited to attend the event in person at the Museum of Science. Last week, we had MIT on-campus training the participating innovators to use the MIT-develop software.

The theme of the day was using generative AI to help combat climate change. The 25 innovators who were chosen to attend heard presentations from top minds like Dava Newman (Director of MIT MEDIA Lab), Tim Ritchie (President of the Museum of Science), Michael Lawerance Evans (Director of Emerging Technologies for the City of Boson), and David Sittinfield (Director of the Center for the Environment). 

“There’s just more access to data than ever before…” Rober Parks (Curriculum Developer at MIT) said. “It’s our job, and the next generation’s job, to make sense of that data and make use of it.”

After the keynotes, groups of our students presented their ideas for utilizing generative AI to solve an ecological issue to those top scientists and industry leaders! Our Innovators got to field questions from some of the top minds in the field. Their ideas were impressive, everything from an AI Sustainability Coach called EcoLife to protecting mass forests with TreeSavers.

 

MIT.nano Forum at NEIA
Last night, in our Lecture Hall, MIT.nano’s Director, Dr. Vladimir Bulovic, and his team presented to our community about “the power of nano-scale to transform our world.”

Last week, he was speaking before the U.N. This week, he was talking to our innovators!

Ben Farrell introduced Dr. Bulovic, calling him “a man who has done so much for so many.” This is a man who quite literally thinks in nano-meters. He understands their subtleties; one example Dr. Bulovic gave: scents are nano-sized molecules. Lemon and oranges have the exact same molecule makeup. The reason they smell different is because of the shape of their particles. There are many practical applications for nanotechnology, and it is a subject that affects everyone whether they realize it or not.

One of the concepts he presented to the students was paper-thin solar cells that could absorb light and power small motors. He held in his hand something that looked like it belonged in science fiction! In a time where everyone seems to be pessimistic about humanity’s future, MIT.nano’s Director emanated pure optimism. “There are many many great things ahead of us,” he said.

After three different break-out groups with different MIT.nano scientists, the students ate pizza in their groups and came up with their ideas to answer this question: How could this technology positively transform the world? With a gallery walk of each team’s poster board, students voted on the most creative and most inspiring ideas. Second place was a tie between mapping the brain in Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality and using coral reef skin grafts to rebuild oceans.

The winning idea was using Virtual Reality as a resource for surgeons to practice surgeries. The MIT team remarked how impressed they were with these ideas and our students.

“I feel even better about our future after watching your students tonight,” Dr. Bulovic said. “You have an incredible environment and incredible dynamics here to come up with new ideas.”

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After our first full week into summer, we want to look back on a year-long project that yielded impressive results for three of our amazing rising 12th graders.

This past fall, NEIA 11th graders pitched products that could add value to people’s lives by curing diseases or ailments. This is part of the BioTrek Program: a joint initiative by ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Medical Institute) and BioFabUSA. Students pitched their amazing ideas to Tim McCauley, their peers, and a panel of judges made up of NEIA staff members. 

Throughout these presentations, our students walked through all phases of the Biotrek journey. First, identifying a problem. Second, engineering a solution using bio-manufacturing techniques. In the third phase, they developed a business and financial model for their product. The final phase was this event: pitching to their peers and judges. They are trying to solve real medical issues, such as endometriosis, chronic lung disease, color blindness, and osteogenesis (just to name a few). 

The winners moved on to the Final Presentations judged by representatives from ARMI and Biofab, which decided
who would represent NEIA against other schools in the Biotrek Championship. The winning group chosen to go to the championship was Endopexy, created by Milena, Lila, and Max H.

Milena, Lila, and Max’s hard worked paid off as they were the winning team of the championships. We are so proud of these three innovators for working hard the whole year and being recognized in such a highly competitive program.

This project-based learning program continues to be a very valuable experience for our innovators. You can clearly see the intersection of subjects like science, math, entrepreneurship, and communications. It is the perfect example of how integrated academics lead to exciting projects and connections.

#NEIA #BioTrek #Innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #integration
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This weekend, three of our 11th grade students: Vicki, Owen, and Langston, won first place at the Entrepreneurship for All - EforAll All Ideas Pitch Competition for their idea around the NEXTGEN Summit, a conference that Langston initiated this spring at NEIA.

Owen explains the idea to execution as follows, "My mother is an alum of the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Business Accelerator Program. One night while scrolling Instagram, she found a post by EforAll about an All Ideas Pitch Competition happening. She sent me the post at 11:20 p.m. and we were signed up for the event by 12:15 a.m. A few weeks later we were selected to table at the event with the potential of being able to participate in the final pitch competition. We landed a spot in the pitch competition, and it was a huge success as we not only won the first place prize of $1000, but also won the Fan Favorite prize for an additional $500. We were by far the youngest attendees at the event and were pitching with people who were already well removed from college."

We are so proud of our innovators and commend them for their efforts to not only seek new opportunities each and every day but to thrive within them.

#NEIA #PitchCompetition #EForAll #NEXTGENSummit #NEXTGEN #FutureOfEducation #Innovation #Entrepreneurship
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That’s a wrap! We will see you soon, innovators. We miss you already.

#LastDayOfSchool #Summer #NEIA #innovators #summerbreak
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