Alumni Continue 'Doc' Edgerton's Mission

Published in MIT News on October 16, 2013, by Hannah Hailan Pang '16, Edgerton Center

John McGoldrick '73On Saturdays in a bright, spacious classroom, MIT alumni and Edgerton Center volunteers John McGoldrick ‘73 and Mike Allen ’97 MNG ‘99 sit with young engineers, fervently discussing their new projects and ideas. The classroom is largely a shop, an ample room for large worktables and an extensive, if slightly chaotic, supply of motors, metal, and materials — a true embodiment of the hands-on teaching and project-based learning throughout the Edgerton Center programs. The people too, current and past MIT students, add to the Edgerton Center theme of learning-by-doing by being mentors in many areas of design and engineering.

For McGoldrick and Allen, coming back weekly to the Edgerton Center long after their own time as engineering students at MIT is a chance to add to the growth of the community.

“I want to feel like everyday is memorable,” McGoldrick explains, “and the way I direct my time here at the Center is to make my own favorite memories.” Indeed, on Saturdays, the Edgerton Center hallway teems with kids of all ages eager to get their hands dirty and create something cool. The Saturday program known as “The Saturday Thing” began at the Edgerton Center in 2006, thanks to the initiative of Ed Moriarty ‘76, an Edgerton Center instructor. Kids of all ages can invent, build, and tinker at their own pace with mentors – parents, alumni, MIT students, Edgerton Center instructors, and the kids themselves — who help them along the way.

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