Itinerary

Itinerary

For explorers at National Geographic, technology and exploration go hand in hand—cutting-edge science and high-tech tools are invaluable to their expeditions. Join some of National Geographic’s leading explorers on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus to examine the many intersections of technology and exploration. Attend seminars on a range of topics—from renewable energy sources to engineering microscopic robots—and participate in related experiments. Tie your experiences together by creating a capstone project proposal that uses cutting-edge science to help address an important issue in your own community.

Arrive at the MIT campus, join your group for an orientation and tour, and get acclimated to university life in Cambridge. The workshop will be led by instructors who have experience in the themes of our program: Engineering the Future, Technology for Remote Exploration, and Innovations in Robotics. Each day features a hands-on workshop or field study followed by a discussion-based seminar or group meeting to further examine and apply what we’ve learned. Our instructors will guide us through each activity and facilitate workshops and discussions with National Geographic Experts. State-of-the-art research labs and applied technology centers in the local area serve as our classrooms as we explore scientific solutions to some of the most critical and compelling issues facing the modern world.

Learn about the latest innovations in micro and soft robotics at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab, founded by National Geographic Explorer Robert Wood. The research team here develops new types of microrobots that can safely interact with humans. Hear how this new class of robots may one day play a transformative role in fields such as medicine and agriculture.

Examine how developments in robotics technology are providing deeper insight into some of the world’s most spectacular places. Hear from Dr. Katy Croff Bell—a National Geographic Fellow and MIT researcher—on how underwater ROVs and advancements in biomimetic robots are charting a new course for ocean exploration. Then work with a team to assemble your own ROV, and deploy it from the dock at the New England Aquarium.

Alongside members of the MIT Media Lab's Space Exploration Initiative, learn about cutting-edge space technologies. In a group, pioneer the future of space exploration by assembling your own small satellite, and then launch it into the sky to collect images of your group from above.

Join National Geographic Emerging Explorer T.H. Culhane to discuss how you can use technology to develop innovative solutions to environmental issues. Learn how food waste can be transformed into fuel and fertilizer, and then back into food during a workshop. Build skills in engineering and computer programming as you create your own biodigester energy system; and with fertilizer from your biodigester, construct a vertical garden and plant seeds to grow food. Later, visit the rooftop garden at Fenway Park to see how urban agriculture experts engineered a sustainable food system atop this iconic ballpark.

We’ll take breaks from our seminars to explore the vibrant cities of Cambridge and Boston. Peruse the shelves at bookstores in Harvard Square, kayak along the Charles River, meet culinary entrepreneurs at the Boston Public Market, or visit one of the area’s world-famous museums. Wander the cobbled streets winding through some of our country’s oldest neighborhoods, and delve into Revolutionary War history during a walk along the Freedom Trail. Each evening, gather on campus for a group activity, such as a presentation by one of our National Geographic experts, a film screening, or a concert. Enjoy a celebratory sunset cruise along the Charles River on your final night.