Florida Poly students bring magic to life at MIT
The magic of Harry Potter met the hard reality of science under a class taught recently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by three Florida Polytechnic University students.
The class was part of a weekend event called Splash, which brings together high school students from all over the country for a weekend focused on learning more about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Florida Poly students Payton Barnwell, Kelci Wilson and Veronica Perez Herrera were invited to participate as instructors. The trio created a class from scratch called "Defense Against the Deceptive Arts," which explored ways to bring fixtures of the magical world like limb regeneration, invisibility cloaks and memory erasing spells into the real world. Helping them with the course's development was Chris Oliver, vice president of engineering and safety at NBC Universal in Orlando. Oliver provided a behind-the-scenes look at the science behind some of the rides and interactive wands at Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
"Teaching at Splash was not only a great opportunity to gain leadership and outreach experience, but also a chance to connect our passion for science with fun and magic," Barnwell said. "To be able to get the next group of STEM students excited for their future, and all of the possibilities surrounding it, is something that I love to do, and hope to continue on with in the future."
In true Harry Potter fashion, students were divided into Hogwarts houses and given a chance to compete against each other in quizzes and team bonding activities. The winning house took home a 3D-printed prize.