NuVu at Beaver

This term, Beaver has been piloting the NuVu program (pronounced “new view”), a one-term opportunity for upper school students to work on the MIT campus with MIT and Harvard PhD students who act as coaches in a design studio setting. “The program focuses on hands-on problem solving, encourages an inventive culture, promotes peer teaching and learning, and cultivates students’ curiosity to explore,” explains the NuVu website.

During the pilot phase of the program, a few seniors are spending their last term at Beaver with NuVu to work on projects focused around the theme “City of the Future.” More members of the class of 2010 joined the group at the start of May for their senior projects.

So far this term, students have participated in two-week studios around the topics of alternative energy, balloon mapping, and the future of labor. Topics for the final month are music in the city and filming the city.

The music in the city studio got under way earlier this week, and students traveled to the MIT Media Lab to create musical instruments using Drawdio. The creators of Drawdio (one of whom is Eric Rosenbaum, the coach for this studio) describe the device like this:

Imagine you could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft lets you MacGuyver your everyday objects into musical instruments: paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, grandpa, even the kitchen sink…

After about an hour of assembling, each group of students was able to produce sound from their instruments. One group took the Drawdio to a sink and used the water stream to create sounds, another used the table to make an instrument, and another formed a human instrument by holding hands to complete the electrical circuit.

See the students at work at the MIT Media Lab in this video created by Nobuyuki Ueda, a visiting professor at the Media Lab.

Students will continue to work on the music studio in the coming days. We’ll check back in with group throughout the month and post updates here. In the meantime, there’s also a photo gallery of students at work.

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