First annual Edgerton Center team showcase dazzled audience of all ages

Members of the Solar Electric Vehicle Team posing around their car in Lobby 13
Members of the public, faculty, alumni, industry leaders, and team sponsors were in attendance
Sonny Oram
Type

Visitors to MIT on April 13 caught a glimpse of innovation in action with students carrying an 8-foot rocket and a solar-powered car driving down Mass Ave, all headed to Lobby 13. Described by MIT Rocket Team Caption Cruz Soto ’24 as a “vibrant melting pot for anything and everything engineering,” the showcase featured Arcturus, MIT Motorsports, Robo Team, Rocket Team, Design Build Fly, Solar Electric Vehicle Team (SEVT), and SPOKES. Members of the public, faculty, alumni, industry leaders, and team sponsors filled Lobby 13 to view these projects displayed together for the first time.

Motorsports and SEVT being escorted to building 13.

Motorsports and SEVT being escorted to building 13. Photo by Alex Soo '08.

Transporting projects into Lobby 13 was an event of its own. When SEVT successfully squeezed their award-winning vehicle Nimbus through the doorway with not an inch to spare, the room erupted into applause. “We loved seeing people's excitement as Nimbus was wheeled through the double doors,” says Cher Jiang ’24, SEVT business lead.

The event included a short program. Edgerton Center Founder and Director Professor Kim Vandiver shared the history of the center and student teams – some of which were founded over 30 years ago with the help of “Doc” Edgerton himself. “I was very intrigued by the rich and interesting history of the Edgerton Center, especially its namesake,” says Joshua Herrera ‘23, co-president, RoboTeam.

A horizontal image of the audience gathered around Professor Vandiver.

Professor Vandiver addressing the audience. Photo by Alex Soo '08.

Following Vandiver, a student leader from each team answered popcorn-style questions about their teams, which can be enjoyed in the video below: 

Teams answer popcorn questions

Teams answer popcorn questions. From left: Cher Jiang ’24 (SEVT), Cruz Soto ’24 (Rocket team), Gabriella Berrey '23 (Design Build Fly)Audrey Chen '24 (Arcturus),  Joshua Herrera ‘23 (Robo Team), Cameron Kokesh '23, Keaten Clarno '23 (SPOKES), Justin Schiavo '23 (Rocket Team), Nicole M Seman '23 (Motorsports). Photo by Sonny Oram.

“So many people from young children to faculty and sponsors all invested in our projects. It really made me realize exactly why we do the work we do. ” – Cruz Soto ’24 

Audience members and MIT students enjoyed the opportunity to ask question to these students. “So many people from young children to faculty and sponsors all invested in our projects. It really made me realize exactly why we do the work we do.” says Soto.

 

“Several community members have reached out to us afterwards to say with renewed vigor that they look forward to maintaining relations with our team,” – Cher Jiang ’24

Some teams even got the chance to get feedback from sponsor representatives seeing the car for the first time. “Several community members have reached out to us afterwards to say with renewed vigor that they look forward to maintaining relations with our team,” Cher says. 

Members of SEVT chatting with industry leaders

Members of SEVT chatting with industry leaders. Photo by Sonny Oram.

The showcase was a great testament to the importance of community and the exchange of ideas. For Arcturus captain Audrey Chen’24 , “It really was incredible to see how everyone found community in building.”

Audrey Chen, Caption of Arcturus, speaking with two students

Audrey Chen, Caption of Arcturus, speaking with two students. Photo by Sonny Oram.

Watch the video and see more photos from the Showcase:

 

Members of Motorsports Team and Motorsports founding member Alex Soo '08 posing with their car.

Members of Motorsports Team and Motorsports founding member Alex Soo '08 posing with their car. Photo by Sonny Oram.

Members of SEVT posing with their car.

Members of SEVT posing with their car. Photo by Sonny Oram.

Members of SPOKES.

Members of SPOKES. Photo by Sonny Oram

Motorsports team members enjoyed connecting with Motorsports founding member Alex Soo '08

Motorsports team members enjoyed connecting with Motorsports founding member Alex Soo '08. Photo by Sonny Oram.

Member of the Rocket Team posing at the showcase

Member of the Rocket Team posing with their rocket at the showcase. Photo by Alex Soo '08

Members of the Design Build Fly showcasing their plane.

Members of the Design Build Fly showcasing their plane. Photo by Alex Soo '08

Members of the Design Build Fly showcasing their plane.

The Edgerton Center's most recent addition, autonomous boat team Arcturus. Photo by Alex Soo '08

Young participants visiting the rocket team.

Young participants visiting the rocket team. Photo by Sonny Oram.

The event sparked many interesting conversations between teams

The event sparked many interesting conversations between teams. Photo by Sonny Oram.

Robots from the rocket team were programmed to move around objects

Robots from the rocket team were programmed to move around objects. Photo by Sonny Oram.