I was one of four Teaching Assistants for MIT’s product design classes for 150 seniors in mechanical engineering, Product Engineering Processes.

 

What I learned

Hands-on education techniques
In this class, students work in large teams to develop new consumer products. Both the lab and lecture components of these classes are uniquely hands-on, fun, and creative.

Further brainstorming and idea generation techniques
To push students and teammates to get to new ideas and breakthroughs, the TAs had to think in a different ways than we had before when designing and engineering products. 

Hosting large events
This course concludes in a 2.5 hour-long presentation with 1200 audience members. Our team of one professor and four TAs hosted this presentation with help from countless volunteers.

Photography
A big part of this class is documentation of students’ experiences and process. I had some photography experience before, but photographing almost every lectures and labs helped me grow more confident in my skills.

Adobe After Effects
Many parts of the course’s final presentation included video and animation. In the couple weeks leading up to the final presentation, a fellow TA and I taught ourselves AE to work on an animation introducing the class’ theme of “magic.”


Process

Animations for Final Presentations

Below is an animation shown at the beginning of the final presentations to introduce the course’s 2015 theme of “magic.” I worked with another TA to conceptualize and make this animation in Adobe After Effects. 

 

Team Branding

For each team, we designed magic-themed logos. These logos were used on lab name tags, lecture seating signs, and other team-specific areas.

 

 

Branding for Final Presentations

We worked to develop branding for the course’s final presentations. This included designing posters, programs, event signs, and name tags for guests, students, and staff.

 

Results

The final products of this experience really belong to the students in the class. They did awesome work, and the course staff just helped them along the way. You can check out their products and learn more about the class here

Silver team's SleepTight

Silver team's SleepTight

Blue team's Laser Kites

Blue team's Laser Kites

Yellow team's Petra

Yellow team's Petra

Orange team's Vantage

Orange team's Vantage

Red team's Trellis

Red team's Trellis

Purple team's touchLess

Purple team's touchLess

Green team's Letterbug

Green team's Letterbug

Pink team's Orion

Pink team's Orion