Across MIT

Wednesday, April 23
MIT Campus, Cambridge

Take a journey across MIT to discover current research, student projects, collections and more...

9:30am-10:45am Walking Tour of MIT’s Nuclear Research Reactor
10:00am-2:00pm Hands-on Sustainable Engineering
10:00am-2:00pm AeroAstro Open House
* 16+ activities and tours across MIT!
10:00am-11:30am, 4:00pm-5:30pm Discover International Development and Design with D-Lab
11:00am-12:00pm MIT Museum Revealed: Robots and Beyond
11:00am-12:00pm Tour of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department’s Educational Labs
11:00am–1:00pm Historic Letterlocking at MIT: the art, technology, and secrecy of letter writing
11:00am-1:00pm MITERS Open House
1:00pm–3:00pm Center for Ultracold Atoms - Hands-on Demonstrations and Lab Tours
1:00pm-3:00pm Beaver Works Open House
3:00pm-4:00pm MIT Museum Revealed: Robots and Beyond
3:00pm-4:30pm Bio Flash Mob 3: Immune Cells Fight Cancer (Postponed to Friday 4/25 11am)
5:00pm, 6:00pm Solar Car Shop Tour 
6:00pm-9:00pm Science Trivia Challenge
6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm Nano-Observatory
7:00pm-8:30pm You're the Expert



Walking Tour of MIT’s Nuclear Research Reactor - TOUR IS NOW FULL
138 Albany Street, MIT Building NW12, Cambridge

Come take a tour of the second largest university research reactor in the U.S. and the only one located on the campus of a major university.

Cost: Free, pre-registration required.
At least 24 hours before the start of the tour we'll need the full name, residential address, phone number, and date of birth for all tour participants. Please make sure all adults (18+ years old) bring a valid government issued photo ID, seeing as we will check this upon arrival. Email to register.


Hands-on Sustainable Engineering
84 Massachusetts Ave., MIT Student Center 1st Floor, Cambridge

Experience sustainable technologies we use today - solar energy, water splitting, batteries, fuel cells, and desalination!


Discover International Development and Design with D-Lab
265 Massachusetts Ave., MIT Building N51, 3rd Floor

4:00pm-5:30pm will have an environmental focus and feature making pedal power smoothies, as part of the MIT Earth Week celebrations

D-Lab at MIT aims to build a global network of innovators to design and disseminate technologies that meaningfully improve the lives of people living in poverty. Visitors - especially K-12 students, teachers, and families - are welcome to come hear about working with communities around the world, tour the D-Lab workshop and space, interact with technological innovations in international development, and try your hand at mini design activities!

Please RSVP to with your preferred time slot and size of group


MIT Museum Revealed: Robots and Beyond
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Discover the history of robots and artificial intelligence - fan favorites at science centers all over the world -- on a tour of the MIT Museum's unique collection of robots with Debbie Douglas, Science & Technology Curator. Note: Best suited for families with young children.

Cost: Free with Museum admission, tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis


Tour of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department’s Educational Labs
50 Vassar Street, Meet in MIT Room 38-476, Cambridge

Learn about MIT classes and labs in EECS. See robots and lab equipment in MIT's largest department.

Pre-reg required by email to


Historic Letterlocking at MIT: the art, technology, and secrecy of letter writing
Lobby 10, MIT Campus

Queen Elizabeth the First did it. Marie Antoinette did it, too, and so did William Barton Rogers. People throughout history want to keep their communications private.

Stop by the MIT Libraries table in Lobby 10 to learn about the 4,000-year-old tradition of writing a letter on papyrus, parchment, or paper and folding it to function as its own envelope. Try your hand at sealing shut and then "un-locking" a facsimiles of historic letters. Learn how we preserve the historic manuscripts.
If you identify yourself as an origami maker, paper engineer, letter-writer, secret keeper, or anti-tamper device master, come meet us.


MITERS Open House
MIT Room N52-115, adjacent to the MIT Museum

Come meet and discover MIT's only student-run shop and makerspace, learn about student projects, and more!

Need directions? Can't get in? Call us at (617) 253-2060


Center for Ultracold Atoms - Hands-on Demonstrations and Lab Tours
Via 60 Vassar St., MIT Room 26-214

At extremely low temperatures, the fundamental building blocks of the universe behave unexpectedly. Discover this hidden world at The Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA). Activities include a gum-drop model Ion Trap, a 6-foot Tornado Simulator, and experiments with Liquid Nitrogen to see how ultracold temperatures change everyday objects. There will also be a chance to visit the labs in the CUA, where cutting edge research is conducted.

Professor Martin Zwierlein, featured on NOVA's Making Stuff:Colder will be kicking off the event at 1pm.

The interactive demonstrations will follow this short talk and continue until 2:30pm. Lab tours will be available 2:30-3pm.

Appropriate for all ages K-12

Cost: Free


Beaver Works Open House
Beaver Works, 300 Technology Square, 2nd Floor, Kendall Square, Cambridge

Take a tour of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works facility, a joint center chartered by MIT School of Engineering and Lincoln Laboratory.
Cost: Free


MIT Museum Revealed: Robots and Beyond
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Discover the history of robots and artificial intelligence - fan favorites at science centers all over the world - on a tour of the MIT Museum's unique collection of robots with Debbie Douglas, Science & Technology Curator. Note: Limited to 25 participants - teens and adults only.
Cost: Free with Museum admission, tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis

Bio Flash Mob 3: Immune Cells Fight Cancer - (Postponed to Friday 4/25 11am - Sign up here)
MIT Koch Institute, 500 Main Street, Cambridge

Deep within each of our bodies lies a mighty army trained to defeat unwelcome invaders. Join friends, families, and complete strangers as you transform into cells, proteins, and antibodies in the 3rd annual biology flash mob hosted by MIT’s cancer research community. This year’s program features cutting-edge cancer immunotherapies straight from MIT laboratories. No advance knowledge or preparation is necessary - this event is open to all students, adults, and families with an enthusiasm for science and an appreciation for the power of the human body!
Cost: Free. Reserve your free t-shirt at


Solar Car Shop Tour
SEVT Shop, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge (MIT Building N51)
5:00pm-6:00pm & 6:00pm-7:00pm

The MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team designs, builds, and races full-size electric cars powered only by the sun. Come see our shop and the vehicle that will be racing from Austin to St. Paul in July.
Cost: Free


Science Trivia Challenge
Broad Institute Auditorium, 7 Cambridge Center, Kendall Square, Cambridge

Renowned MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin moderates a live team trivia quiz that will test your knowledge of science from a variety of fields ranging from biology, chemistry, and physics to ecology and the history of science. Enter a team to compete on stage, or come and participate as an audience member and support your favorite team. Winning teams will enjoy a meal with one of MIT's own Nobel Laureates! Contestants are restricted to Middle and High School students. Hosted by the MIT Club of Boston.
Cost: Free to spectators, Teams must register online at Registration is required only to enter a team in the competition. Everyone is welcome to watch.

MIT Scanning Electron-Beam Lithography Facility, Access via 60 Vassar St., Cambridge (MIT Building 24, Room 041)
6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm

Do your own lithography, an ancient form of artwork used for next-generation computer chips; use electron microscopes to see atoms, as well as other microscopic and nanoscopic organisms, materials, and structures; “see” a beam of electrons with your own eyes; understand exactly what “nano” means; hear about some of the newest technology from nanostructures; meet and talk with MIT professors, researchers and students. Please register for one of the hours, either 6:00pm, 7:00pm, or 8:00pm. Registration is limited to 20 people for each 1 hour slot.
Cost: Free, pre-registration required at


You're the Expert
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

You're the Expert uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting. Through games, sketches, and hilariously misguided guesses, three comedians will try to get to the bottom of what a leading scientist does all day. You won't want to miss being part of the audience for this live show and podcast taping, hosted by Chris Duffy. Made possible by funding from the de Florez Humor Fund, the Cambridge Arts Council, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Cost: Free

AeroAstro Open House  

MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department Open House. Celebrating 100 years of aerospace at MIT. Tour our labs and see unmanned aerial vehicles, microsatellites, jet engines from the ‘40s to today, rocket engines the size of a penny, the commercial airplane of 2030, radio-controlled experimental aircraft; visit the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel and the Neumann Hangar; have fun with hands-on activities, and lots more.

Cost: Free

Find MIT building numbers at!  (Locations subject to change.)

• Visit the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel

Since September 1938 the WBWT has played a major role in the development of aerospace, civil engineering, and architectural systems. From its early days during World War Two, when technicians worked in two shifts on military aircraft design, testing has evolved to today’s examination of ski gear, space suits, motorcycle configurations, wind turbines, and, most recently, a design for a clean, quiet, and super-efficient commercial aircraft. Step inside this active piece of history and feel what it’s like when the giant 2,400-volt, 2,000 horsepower motor begins to spin the 13-foot diameter fan.

Location: Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel, MIT Building 17

•  Tour the Gas Turbine Laboratory

From the earliest jets to the latest in engines so tiny they resemble shirt buttons, MIT’s Gas Turbine Lab has been on the forefront of turbine engine design and development. See the labs, blast-proof test cells, giant compressors, and more.

Specific times to be announced.

Location: AeroAstro Gas Turbine Laboratory, MIT Building 31

Build a parachute

Build a parachute and learn eggs-actly how one works: With some string, plastic wrap, tape, and other materials, members of AeroAstro’s American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics student chapter will help you build your own mini-parachute. Then, you’ll attach it to an egg and drop it off a balcony in AeroAstro’s Hangar to see if your ‘chute can deliver the egg to a landing from two stories high without cracking up!

Location: Neumann Hangar, MIT Building 33

The D-8 “Double Bubble” commercial aircraft of the future

Created by an MIT-led team, the highly unusual 737-sized D-8 “Double Bubble” (referring to its twin-tube fuselage interior design) is designed to use 70 percent less fuel than current airplanes, while reducing noise and nitrogen oxide emissions. See one of the actual wind tunnel models of this unique aircraft MIT is testing for NASA. Researchers will be on hand to explain the project.

Sponsor: D-8 research team

Location: Neumann Hangar, MIT Building 33

• Get up close with jet engines, old and new

Representatives of AeroAstro’s Gas Turbine Lab will take you up close to three actual jet engines: 1) a WW2-vintage Junkers Jumo 004 once used to power the famed Messerschmitt Me 262, 2) another WW2 engine – the General Electric J31 -- the first working US-produced engine -- used to power the Bell P-59 Airacomet, 3) the modern CFM56, most widely used to power the Boeing 737and the KC-135 Stratotanker.

Location: Neumann Hangar, MIT Building 33

• Fly a (virtual) airplane

Take the controls of a virtual airplane with AeroAstro’s International Center for Air Transportation! ICAT will have several flight simulation software stations with several pilots on hand to teach you the different controls of an aircraft and show you the basics of flying.

Location: MIT Room 33-218

• Design, Build, Fly

Want to see a plane that flies just as well sideways as it does upright? Or skids over rough terrain on ice-skate landing gear? Or carries 16 rockets? The MIT Design/Build/Fly Team creates radio-controlled aircraft to fulfill missions like these every year for the international DBF competition. Team members will be on hand with some of our unique planes to discuss and answer questions about our design and testing process, building techniques for the unique and creative aircraft from recent years, and the competition in early April.

Location: Gelb Laboratory, MIT Building 33

• Beaverworks

Visit the Beaverworks team in its workspace and see the actual vehicles and production molds, and watch cool video footage from our builds and flight tests. Beaverworks is a collaborative effort between AeroAstro students and MIT Lincoln Laboratory that allows students to design and produce prototypes of UAVs for demanding real-world applications. Among these hand-built vehicles are: LOCUSTS, a high-altitude micro-UAV explosively launched from a flare canister; and FAST, a family of versatile, snap-together UAVs produced from a unified architecture designed to maximize production speed and minimize cost.

Location: Gelb Laboratory, MIT Building 33

•  Tiny materials making a BIG impact with necstlab

If you think that being small and skinny means being weak and delicate, you’ll be amazed to learn about carbon nanotubes! Join nano-engineered composite aerospace structures consortium (necstlab) students and staff to learn about this exciting material that will be a vital component for next-generation aero and astro vehicles. See this futuristic but real material, and understand why and how it will make airplanes and satellites stronger, safer, and multifunctional.

Location: Gelb Laboratory, MIT Building 33

Model rocketry

AeroAstro Senior Jim Clark exhibits clustered motors rockets, multiple stage rockets, and other flyable model rockets built by people middle-school-aged and up (himself included), and discusses them, their construction, rocketry contests and clubs.

Location: Gelb Laboratory, MIT Building 33

• Learn how aviation affects the environment

See how, over time, aviation has affected our environment and how MIT researchers are developing ways to make aviation greener. Displays of potential alternative fuel sources, aviation history, maps of Boston-area aviation noise impacts, and more.

Location: Seamans Laboratory, MIT Room 33-115

•  Take your picture on the moon, try the Paper Airplane Competition, Ask an Engineer

  • 10-2 pm Take a picture of yourself in a spacesuit: Jump into a “spacesuit” and have a friend or parent take your picture on a moon setting!
  • 12-1 pm Paper Airplane Competition: Learn about different designs for paper airplanes, and learn how to make them travel a longer distance. Then, fold one yourself and see how far it will fly!
  • 1-2 pm  Ask an Engineer coffee hour: AeroAstro graduate students will be available to answer all your aeronautical and astronautics questions, like how an airplane flies or how to keep an asteroid from crashing into the earth. An excellent opportunity for all, especially young boys and girls, to learn about the exciting, unique profession of aerospace engineering. Refreshments provided.

Location: Al Shaw Lounge, MIT Building 33

• Humans in Space with the Man Vehicle Lab

Learn about new spacesuit designs for future moon and Mars missions; see a “skinsuit” for astronaut exercise that will fly to the International Space Station in 2015; and discover how we protect space-suited astronauts from injury. Visit our human-size centrifuge, which we use to develop ways to protect astronauts from the effects of space on their muscles, bone, and heart. Take a tour of the motion capture lab and learn how human motion can be measured for characterizing human performance, designing monitoring system, and developing assistive robotic exosuits.

Location: MIT Rooms 37-127 & 37-146

• Fly a SPHERES Satellite

The Space Systems Lab has three of its basketball-sized self-propelled satellites aboard the International Station – and now’s your chance to operate an identical one here on Earth in a series of one-minute contests. Good piloting skills will win you a SPHERES sticker. And, while in the SSL, take a look at lots of other cool vehicles and projects.

Location: MIT Building 37, Room 392

• Tour the Space Propulsion Laboratory

Take a tour of the Space Propulsion Laboratory and explore the experimental facilities where SPL creates and tests thrusters for space vehicles. Learn how the lab is developing electric thrusters works (see an electric thruster as small as a penny!), which, in the near future, will propel spacecraft to distant planets and asteroids. Learn how charged particles and electromagnetic fields are used in space travel.

Location: Space Propulsion Laboratory, MIT Room 37-462

• Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in action

All sorts of UAVs will be flitting about the Aerospace Controls Lab’s unique flight lab – and you may even get a chance to control one yourself using an Xbox controller. Learn about RAVEN (Real-time indoor Autonomous Vehicle test ENvironment), a unique experimental facility that uses Vicon motion capture sensing to enable rapid prototyping of aerobatic flight controllers for helicopters and aircraft, robust coordination algorithms for multiple helicopters, and vision-based sensing algorithms for indoor flight.

Location: Aerospace Controls Lab, MIT Room 41-105



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