MITEI energizes visitors at the MIT Open House

Community members welcomed on campus at celebratory event

Francesca McCaffrey MITEI

On Saturday, April 23, MIT opened its doors to the entire community for an Open House as part of the ongoing celebrations honoring the 100th anniversary of the Institute’s move from Boston to Cambridge. The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) was represented in force, welcoming curious visitors to the world of energy science.

In the pavilion next to Walker Memorial, MITEI staff, students, and researchers gathered to offer information about the Initiative’s mission for a low-carbon future and to demonstrate the science underlying the energy research done at MITEI every day. Visitors conducted thermoelectric experiments, observed the inner chemical workings of fuel cell cars, looked at the potential for solar panels on their roofs and in their communities, and more.

MITEI Executive Director Martha Broad was pleased with the strong turnout: “I’m thrilled that there was such a diverse crowd of visitors, spanning many generations. MITEI’s aim is to engage everyone in the realization of a sustainable future, and the fact that so many audience members were interested in energy issues was very positive to see.” She was particularly glad to see so many aspiring scientists in the audience. “Many of the visitors stopping by MITEI’s table were young people; witnessing their excitement and their eagerness to engage with our experiments and sparking their curiosity is what events like this are all about.”

Campion points out the differences in weight of two unique metals, demonstrating the importance of constructing the frames of fuel cell cars from lightweight material. Photo: Francesca McCaffrey
MIT student Lilly Chin ’16 of electrical engineering and computer science demonstrates the energy of cookie-baking, showing how just a few changes to ingredients can affect consistency and baking time. Photo: Francesca McCaffrey
Campion guides a young participant experimenting with the effects of wind speed on turbine rotation. Photo: Francesca McCaffrey

This article appears in the issue of Energy Futures.

Basic energy scienceElectric power Education

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