Innovator Symposium

Join us on Oct. 19 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. for our 6th Innovator Symposium at Acera!

At this free community event, we bring scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, thinkers and tinkerers — and all kinds of innovative minds together to share their work with people interested in STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, math). This gathering is part of our efforts to break down the walls between science and the general public, and inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators. More than 300 people of all ages joined us for our symposium last fall!

This fall, presenters include Harvard University’s Latanya Sweeney on data security, MGH’s Yael Arbel on the Neuroscience of Learning, a BoseBuild demo & tech talk, the MIT media Labs Nabeel Gillani on Tribalism on Twitter, and Andrea Yodsampa of DeployUS on reaching across the isle and bringing conservative leadership to climate change and clean energy. (See below for a full list of presenters and maker stations.)

Maker stations will include Virtual Reality and Architecture challenges, electronic arts, wood working, a data security game, biochemistry experiments in our science lab, an improv music jam, and more.

We hope that you and your family can join us on October 19. Invite your friends and colleagues to come as well!

Questions? E-mail us at

Fall 2017 Innovator Symposium Posters and Presentations:

Can a New Gene Therapy Mitigate Hearing Loss?
Rich Colvin, M.D. PhD, Executive Director, Translational Medicine, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

How Unique Are You? Data Security in a Connected World
Latanya Sweeney, Ph.D, Professor of Government and Technology, Harvard University

Explore The Wind Map: A Living Portrait of Wind Currents over the U.S.
Fernanda Viégas, Ph.D & Martin Wattenberg, Ph.D, Data Visualization Research Group, Google 

The Speaker That Teaches Sound Engineering: BoseBuild
Alex Vasquez, Events Lead, Bose

Meet InMoov, the World’s 1st 3D-Printable Robot
Kevin Watters, Founder, Big Data Solutions Architect, KMW Technology

Explore Woobo, a New AI Robot for Kids
Susana Zhang, Ed.M, User Experience Specialist, and Chuong Ngo, M.S. & TzuHsuan Wang, Software Engineers, Woobo, Inc.

Innovations in 360Video: From Storytelling to Live Streaming on Social Media
Evan Morales, Production Lead,

Tissue Engineering & Bioreactor Design for the Evaluation of Therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease
Will Collins, B.S., PhD Student, Tufts School of Engineering 

Bridging the Divide: Conservative Leadership on Climate and Clean Energy
Andrea Yodsampa, Ph.D, Founder and CEO, DeployUS

Teaching Ethics at MIT and in Prison: How Students’ Life Experiences Influence Their Thinking
Lee Perlman, Director, MIT Prison Program

Parallel Narratives: Information Bubbles and Tribalism on Twitter
Nabeel Gillani, MSc, Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab

What Studying Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury and Music Based Treatments Can Teach Us About Learning & the Brain
Yael Arbel, Co-Director, Cognitive Neuroscience Group, MGH Institute of Health Professions

Crafting With Code: Socks, Reinvented
Cody Ben Lewis, experimental artist, designer, developer and creator of String&&Loop 

A Demonstration: Does Bionic Hearing Require More Brainpower?
Ed Hight, Ph.D student, Polley Lab, Harvard University

The Future of Prosthetic Limbs: What it Takes to Build Smart Bionic Ankles
Christopher Morse, Chief Mechanical Engineer, BionX Medical Technologies

Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking Through Virtual Reality Training: A Prototype
Raphael Yamamoto, Acera student, and Nick Colvin, Acera alumni

Acera STEAM Learning Lab Learn about Innovation in Education at Acera, our school, and our afternoon and camp programs.
Acera staff

Makerspaces: hands-on stations for young minds:

Inspired by Artist Yayoi Kusama: Make Light-Up 3D Forms with Polka Dot Patterns
Alisha Panjwani M.S., Acera Design Learning and STEM teacher

Creative Construction & Woodshop Challenge
Marie Delaney, Acera Craft & Construction Coach and MS Mentor, and Mark Lyman, Acera Creativity Morning teacher

Try a Chemistry Experiment: Telling Time with the Iodine Clock
Michael Hirsch, MAT, Acera Science Lab Manager and Teacher

Small Pieces, Big Ideas: Architecture in Motion
Estee Hill, B.S., Architecture; M. Ed, Acera Cross Classroom and Architecture teacher

Visit Space, the Human Body, Dinosaurs: Virtual Reality Slam
Gus Halwani, Ph.D., Director of Research, Acera School

Play [d0x3d!] – The Security Game
Yolanda Hsia, Data Security expert

Hands-on Robotics
Suzana Somers, former Acera STEM teacher

Improv Music Jam
Anthony ‘TJ’ Reynolds, Acera Art & Music teacher

Start Your Own 3d Designs: Intro to Tinker CAD
Susan Vollaro, and Danny Fain, Acera Computer Science teacher and MS mentor