A Mechanical Engineering Rite of Passage at MIT

Published in MIT News by Alissa Mallinson, Mechanical Engineering

Since the 1970s, Department of Mechanical Engineering course 2.007 has introduced undergraduate students to hands-on designing and building.

It's hard to ignore the fact that a worldwide maker movement is well underway. Over the past 10 or so years, community Maker Faires have become all the rage; fabrication shops have popped up around the world for both professionals and hobbyists; and websites, tools, and toys catering to do-it-yourselfers are on the rise.

It’s easy to appreciate how a love for making became wildly popular again, especially as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) is increasingly and passionately promoted and embraced around the world.

Of course, at MIT — particularly in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (MechE) — it’s been this way since 1865.

It was around that time that MIT was founded by scientist and educator William Barton Rogers, who had a different idea about how to educate and learn. He founded MIT to teach not only the ability to think critically but also how to apply that thinking to real-world problems — to teach craftsmen and farmers as well as engineers and academics. From that moment on, it’s been in MechE DNA to upend traditional ways of teaching and to democratize science and technology for the betterment of all...

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