MIT.nano: Education


[Music] To fully understand something, you have to use it, play with it, or work with it with your hands, outside of the classroom. It is one thing to go college and learn a lot of equations and to understand it on a theoretical level and to say, “I’ve seen this.” It is something else entirely to be able to say, “I’ve done this.” I think the best environment for learning is in a lab—building something with my hands, by myself, trying things out, failing a bunch. Science isn’t about getting everything right the first time. It’s about the struggle. And that is what I love about MIT. We need to be training the next generation of scientists and engineers to tackle the really hard stuff. And have no fear because these problems need to be solved and we need to be involved in that. I am working toward revolutionizing the field of thermo energy harvesting using carbon-based nano materials. Using 2D materials for display technologies and flexible electronics. I am trying to create a pair of gloves and shoes that I can use to climb up anything. [Music] If you look at the great seal of MIT, it has a man reading a book and it has another man with a sledge hammer. And the reason is that this urgency of going from theory to practice is very central to MIT’s founding principles. And so the nano building is very much a continuation of the spirt and soul of MIT. [Music] All the action. All the important physics and the important engineering that takes place is going to be happening at the nano scale. So, you have a big chunk of material and you make it smaller and smaller, and it behaves, okay, like you expect, like you expect, until you get down to the nano scale. Until you get down to this really, really, really, tiny size, and then they start doing these incredibly different and surprising things that you didn’t expect at all. If you look into something that is really small, and you change a little bit of it, you can change the world. [Music] What we see in our students is they want to solve the problems the world is facing. And one of our answers is MIT.nano. Engineering is now starting at the nano scale. And it wasn’t 20 or 30 years ago. So, we need to put tools in our students hands.. MIT.nano will do that. [Music] It used to be, soft-of, a matter of opinion, but now we know that doing something in real life, having context for it, just fundamentally changes learning. I don’t really care what anybody says. Working problem sets on nano stuff is not the same as actually building something nano. We do the classroom learning setting to facilitate the hands-on learning that students actually do while they are here. The most important types of experiences you can have at MIT is not in my classroom, but it’s in somebody’s laboratory. That’s because the path to discovery always leads through an experiment. [Music] If I had access to the most advanced cleanrooms, it would just be crazy. Right? You can do so much more. You can accomplish any project that you can dream of. Right? It is not even imaginable. It is one of those things. Only at MIT. Like, that is incredible, that I can do that. [Music] Students come to us today, and they want to solve problems. And MIT.nano maps to that. To focus on developing and using tools in a direction, which is very important for the world. [Music]

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