Fall 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends of MIT Project Manus,

The past six months have been full of challenges and opportunities for the MIT community and we have been happy to play our part in a whirlwind of important projects.

Even during this time of immense complexity, we are excited to provide new updates on our ever-evolving mission to upgrade MIT campus makerspaces, improve maker training, and foster maker communities (both in person and online) through events and initiatives across MIT and around the world.

PROJECT MANUS RESPONDS TO COVID-19:

PPE MAKING
As the PPE shortage was at its peak this past spring, Project Manus led the effort to design a new low cost faceshield that folds from a flat sheet of PET which could be manufactured in volume and deployed to hospitals, nursing homes, and other critical facilities. MIT and Polymershapes, our manufacturing partner, donated over 100,000 faceshields to areas in need. See video below for more information about this project.

EHS PARTNERSHIP
Project Manus, in partnership with Environment, Health and Safety, developed a number of tools to assist MIT and other universities in delivering hands-on learning remotely. One of the major tools we have developed is the MIT Remote Making Wiki, which provides students and faculty with a way to validate which tools and technologies are safe to use off campus and under what conditions. A second project was a professional education course for faculty on Enabling Remote Making and Hands-on Activities during COVID-19 which was offered online over three days twice this summer.

INTRO TO MAKING
In partnership with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Project Manus successfully migrated Intro to Making 15.351/2.351 to all remote learning this past spring. We will continue to deliver this course online this fall and have been busy sending out materials and preparing updated lessons.

VIRTUAL CRAFTING CORNER
Crafting Corner is one of Project Manus’ recurring weekly virtual events that was instituted in the spring once everyone was sent off campus. All of our users from The Deep and Metropolis are invited to “drop in” on Zoom to work on their own projects in the company of other MIT makers. We also have a short list of easy, crafty projects that students can work on if they are interested in attending but do not have a project in mind. We will continue to offer Crafting Corner and similar virtual events throughout the fall in support of our makers who cannot be on campus.

Photo Credits of projects by our mentors and makerspace members:

  • Hats sewn by Maddie Pelz, Brain and Cognitive Science (course 9) graduate student
  • Chalk bag made of leather and wool on a 1950s Singer sewing machine; microfluidics chip made on a PCB milling machine by Duncan O’Boyle, Mechanical Engineering grad student
  • First prototype of an OP-1 style, portable digital audio workstation based around the new Teensy 4 by Praj Mahesh, Mechanical Engineering undergraduate
  • Robot Friend by Silvia Knappe, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

WORKING TOWARDS THE MET:
Project Manus continues to work on the new campus-wide makerspace design for the Metropolitan Storage Warehouse (Met). As part of this, Project Manus worked with MIT Resource Development on having Making be the focus of the Fall 2019 Spectrum Issue.

In the fall of 2019, Project Manus opened a second student run makerspaces, Metropolis, in the basement of building 6C. The space provides access and training to students across campus and serves as a test bed for experiments on running a makerspace in preparation for the Met.

FROM FALL 2019 SPECTRUM MAGAZINE: "Making has always been at the heart of an MIT education. The Institute’s motto, “mens et manus” (mind and hand), reflects this educational ideal, which harnesses creativity, intellect, and craftsmanship for practical application. Today, MIT is embracing the mission of making with more fervor than ever."

MAKE IMPACT CONSORTIUM:
For the Make Impact Consortium, Project Manus hosted the 1st TIME (Technology, Innovation, Making and Entrepreneurship) meeting and launched the very successful international MathWorks™ COVID-19 Design Challenge for students (video below). Project Manus also continued the development of the Mobius platform to support more universities and move to a mobile friendly web version that is more scalable going forward.

Have a great rest of your Fall. We look forward to connecting with you soon, either virtually or in person!

Follow us on social media for current updates on all our work: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

Happy making and stay safe out there,

The Project Manus Team
project-manus.mit.edu

A Thank You to our Donors and Supporters Thank you to the donors and supporters whose vision and commitment to our mission has allowed us to tackle key goals and objectives. We are grateful to all those who made gifts to MIT Project Manus, with a special shout-out to the Class of 1960 for their generous support through the Class of 1960 Endowment Fund for Innovation in Education (EFIE).

The Project Manus Team