Curiosity Machine Design Challenges

Curiosity Machine Design Challenges

June 2015 - December 2018

I create curriculum for Curiosity Machine, which is a hands-on STEAM program for children, families and educators.

Design Challenges

Design challenges are hands-on STEAM activities that teach engineering concepts based on the work of scientists and engineers. All design challenges use simple household materials, can scale up or down for students ages 5-18, are open-ended, and connect to real applications of science and engineering. Some of the topics I’ve developed these hands-on challenges around include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Nanoscience
  • Genetics
  • Aerospace
  • Biomimicry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering

In addition to developing challenges, I also develop many supporting materials to accompany them such as videos, lesson plans, teacher guides, and more.

Artificial Intelligence

During the Spring of 2017, my team and I developed three hands-on challenges to teach children and their families about artificial intelligence. The three challenges are listed below:

Parallel Processing Machine Neural Network Self Driving Car Game
Parallel Processing Photo Neural Network Photo Self Driving Car Photo

The three challenges were tested out with a group of high schoolers at conference by NVIDIA. Afterwards they were incorporated in outreach events by NVIDIA and into the AI Family Challenge curriculum.


In the Spring of 2018, I created three videos to accompany design challenges developed with the help of undergraduate students at RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). These videos will explain important concepts in nanoscience and help students get starting building the design challenges.

Quantum Dots Nanopipe Nanostamp
Quantum Dots Photo Nanopipes Photo Nanolithography Photo


In the fall of 2015, I worked with Elliot Meyerowitz, a scientist at California Institute of Technology, and the Iridescent video team to develop two videos and a hands-on building project that teaches children about plant genetics. I developed the design for the project, several different prototypes, and two videos that all work together to deliver the concepts to a young audience.

Design a Set of Mechanical Genes
Mechanical Genes Photo


In a partnership with Boeing, I worked with engineers to develop hands-on projects around what they work on at Boeing. In total, my team developed 21 design challenges and three videos to accompany each one. Below are three of challenges that I worked to develop.

Safe Stopping Robot Fuel Level Detector SLS Inspired Rocket
Safe Stopping Robot Fuel Level Detector SLS Rocket


In addition to these challenges, I’ve also developed and contributed to many others. Some notable examples are listed below.

Planting Machine Blooming Flower Root System
Planting Machine Build a Blooming Flower Make a Root System
Water Collection System Light Dispersal System Wind Powered Turbine
Water Collection System Light Dispersal System Water Collection System