Nerd Nite April!
AKA The Kids Are Alright with DNA Nanotechnology
Talk 1 – “Making (Tiny) Stuff Out of DNA” by Richie Kohman, PhD
Everyone knows that DNA is the molecule that contains the genetic code of life, but did you know that researchers are now using it as a building material as well? In fact, structures made from DNA may be the most intricate nanoscale objects ever made by humans. This talk will introduce the field of DNA nanotechnology and give a brief overview of its history and current status. Find out not only what you can make out of it, but also what DNA nanotechnology is good for.
Richie has worked on a variety of research projects such as creating biomaterials for regenerative medicine and gene therapy, turning brain cells on and off with light, and developing surgical methods to deliver drugs into the brain. He is now pursuing various scientific endeavors at the interface between neuroscience and nanotechnology. Richie received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is now a postdoc in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and a research affiliate in the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Talk 2 – “What the kids are learning these days: an exploration of learning through play” by Jackie Gonzalez
Informal youth educator & creative technologist Jackie Gonzalez shares anecdotes that highlight the innovative ways local educators are trying to re-engage youth in their own learning. From preschool robotics to 3D modeling to wearable tech, school has never looked so cool.
Jackie is the program manager of the Flagship Computer Clubhouse, located at the Museum of Science, Boston. Prior to her involvement at the Clubhouse, she has worked as an educator of robotics and other STEAM initiatives through work with an assortment of Boston-area groups, including PBS’s Design Squad, FableVision Studios, the DevTech group at Tufts University, and the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.