LEGO Underwater Robot Explorers

This project combines LEGO Mindstorms, Scratch programming, and seawater into a playground of project-based learning and citizen exploration for budding engineers and explorers. As part of this outreach program, our team has developed a prototype of a buildable LEGO marine exploration vehicle kit — addressing some of the design challenges of building for the underwater context. Using this kit, we've also designed learning experiences for young people to build on top of it, making the vehicle more sophisticated and customized in order to execute marine science experiments of their design.

Join us for this playful workshop, where you get the chance to pilot a LEGO robot in the Charles River, learn more about the design process, and help us envision new directions for this project!

Led by: Katherine McConachie & Avery Normandin (MIT Media Lab), Harm van Beek (The Incredible Machine), John Paris (MIT), & Rachel Hwang (Wellesley College)


Play is a universal human need, reducing stress and supporting mental well-being. Swimming, surfing, diving and other water-based activities go as far back as we've been a species. But what if we could bring the ocean where there wasn't one? What if we could create new forms of games, sports, and activities that provided a deeper connection to the environment around us? How can we apply new materials and technologies to create playful experiences that take full advantage of the affordances of water? Please join us in creating excitement, wonder, and delight!

AquaGames is an ongoing series of workshops to explore, discuss, and design the history and future of play in, on, under, or with the water.

Led by: NovySan (MIT Media Lab)

Transmedia Storytelling

Tales of the ocean are the first we told. Stories are how we understand the patterns of reality. Film, Television, Graphic novels, Alternate Reality Games, projection mapping, podcasts and more, storytelling formats are exploding as new technologies allow artists, designers, and engineers to explore new ways of engaging audiences and weaving dreams. Join us as we seek the stories the ocean needs told and discover exciting new ways to tell them.

Led by: Dan Fields (Disney Imagineering), Emily Salvador (MIT Media Lab)

Shared Exploration Beyond the Screen

The ocean provides opportunity for serendipitous exploration. How can we recreate the joy of discovery and collaboration in constructed experiences and interfaces by leveraging affordances of the ocean? How can we make a virtual tide pool in someone's living room or simulate a deep sea voyage where new creatures are regularly discovered?

Led by: Catherine Havasi (Luminoso & MIT Media Lab)

Future Aquarium Experience

What is the future of the aquarium in a rapidly changing world? How can aquaria adapt to the evolving frontiers of technological progress, megacity growth, and increasing human impacts on the ocean? Join us to tackle these questions and more as we envision the Future Aquarium Experience!

Led by: Yihyun Lim & Scott Penman (MIT Design Lab), and Billy Spitzer (New England Aquarium)