Second Fridays Archive

On the second Friday of each month, we invite you to join us at the MIT Museum to jump-start your weekend! Enjoy performances, demonstrations, and short talks throughout our galleries.

An archive of our past Second Fridays Programs is below.

2015 |2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | Detailed descriptions



Small Instruments

Meet Pawel Romanczuk, composer, instrument builder and founder of Male Instrumenty (Small Instruments), and the MIT students he worked with to create new instruments and musical compositions. MIT Sounding is curated by Evan Ziporyn, faculty director of the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.


A Good Night for a Bad Date

Anybody can be in a relationship, but why don't they always work? Have a little fun and some laughs this Friday the 13th while learning about neurological, physiological, and social behavior research studies of gender differences. Hear from Mina Cikara (Harvard University), Shiri Cohen (Harvard Medical School), Alexa Veenema (Boston College), and actors from the Underground Railway Theater!


Nautical Night

"Sea" research in a new light! Delve into ocean science, learn about the MIT Museum's nautical collections, and try your hand at some "knotical" challenges.


The Art of Designing Electronic Music

Join CAST Visiting Artist Ge Wang and Harmonix co-founder Eran Egozy to explore the transformative possibilities of combining music & computers, and art & technology. Learn about the innovative tools, toys and social experiences that are being developed to make music in new ways, and use some of those tools to participate in such experiences yourself.

Produced in collaboration with the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology.


Busy As A...Beaver

When the world needs help, MIT students step up! Learn about recent projects developed at Beaver Works a project-based learning and innovation center run jointly by MIT's School of Engineering and Lincoln Laboratory. New 3D-printed structures, autonomous underwater vehicles, assistive devices for the disabled, and small radars are just some of the exciting work you'll see here.

In addition to in-person conversations and technology explorations, enjoy a series of short talks:
5:30 - John Vivilecchia: Beaver Works Overview
6:00 - David Kong: 3D Microfluidics
6:30 - Jaya Narain: Assistive Technology Hackathon
7:00 - Nick Pulsone: UUV Technology
7:30 - John Meklenburg: Build-A-Radar


Glass Band

Our favorite musical group is back! Join Mark Stewart, Peter Houk and MIT's Glass Band for special one-of-a-kind sound symphonies. Meet the artists and explore their unique instruments during this evening of smooth silica sonority.


Good Vibrations: From Music To Medicine

Sound waves have brought musical pleasure to humans since the beginning of history and now, scientists are using sound waves for medical research and treatment. Learn about innovative uses of sound waves in medicine from experts in the fields of ultrasound imaging, vocal vibration therapy, cancer detection, and music therapy. And, explore these methods yourself! Presentations by Seung-Schik Yoo, Rebecca Kleinberger, and Ming Dao.


A Celebration of Polaroid and Edwin Land

Celebrate the genius of Edwin Land's invention of instant photography through historical and technological stories told by the people who worked at Polaroid with Land. Explore the science of Polaroid innovations through hands-on activities and mini-talks. See one-of-a-kind artifacts from the museum's Polaroid Collection and even the new Historic Landmark plaque marking the location of Land's famous laboratory around the corner from the Museum.

5:00 - 6:30 p.m. : Short presentations about Edwin Land, the Polaroid company, and the science of instant photography, by Victor McElheny, John McCann, and Stephen Herchen

6:30 - 8:00 p.m. : Gallery talks by former Polaroid employees and hands-on activities (including a Polaroid petting zoo, Vectographs, ZINK photo booth, chemistry of Polaroid, and more!)


Living in the Future

Humanoid robots? Bouncing cameras? Find out if science portrayed by Hollywood is fiction or today's reality!


Francisco Aguilar - Bouncing Tactical Camera
Jeffrey Hoffman - MOXIE
Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao & Artem Dementyev - Thumbnail Trackpad
Federico Parietti - Supernumerary Limbs
Russ Tedrake - Atlas Robot

Admission includes pizza, popcorn and beverage.


Chain Reaction Meets the 18th Century

Get ready for the 18th annual Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction by jump starting your contraption construction! Materials provided.


Take Leave of Your Senses

Join us for an evening of sense-ational explorations as we learn how to trick our brain and fool our senses. Use one sense to explore another and determine whether you can fool your sense of touch, taste with your nose, or "see" with your ears.

5-6 p.m.: Presentations by Professor Emery Brown and Dr. Charlotte Reed

6-8 p.m.: Explore your senses with hands on experiments to see how you can trick your senses.


MoSAIC: Math of Science, Art, Industry and Culture

During this special, free math weekend, explore a "pop-up" math art exhibit, take part in discussions about math in society, and try your hand at math activities and challenges.

5:10 pm - 6:10 pm: Presentations by Professor George Hart ("From Math to Sculpture") and Professor David Reimann ("Mathematics in the Art of M.C. Escher")

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm: Discussion of the gender gap in mathematics by Dr. Rosalie Belanger-Rioux (Harvard University), Dr. Ken Fan (Girl's Angle), and Meena Boppana (Gender Inclusivity in Mathematics)

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Slide rules demonstrations, Rubik's Cube challenges, knot tying, and many more math activities.



MIT+K12 Live!

Learn how MIT students in the MIT+K12 videos project are changing the way their younger peers learn. MIT videographers will demonstrate their experiments and activities as they show how cool learning science can actually be. From color-changing chemical reactions to autonomous flying robots, they'll show you a different side of numbers and equations!


How People Connect

On Valentine's Day, begin your evening at the MIT Museum by exploring a wide range of human relationships - with objects, locations, and other people. Find out how social media can affect community behavior, and how we are able to emphathize and predict what others are thinking. Explore these questions and more with MIT researchers from The Trope Tank, Human Dynamics Group, eCitizen, Saxe lab, and Creative Innovation Network.


The Art and Science of Solar Lights

Explore the beauty, function, and technological potential of solar lights through a series of discussions with MIT scientists and 2014 Eugene McDermott Award recipient Olafur Eliasson. Learn why design is a critical element when developing a functional lamp for global users. Delve into research that will improve materials for capturing and storing solar energy for lighting use, and brainstorm ways of creating solar lighting with flexible materials such as textiles and paper.

Featuring conversations with Harald Quintus-Bosz, Vice President of Engineering at Cooper Perkins, and MIT professors Evelyn Wang, Jeffrey Grossman, Sheila Kennedy, and Karen Gleason.


Nautical Night

Dive in to a variety of exciting ocean-related activities ranging from marine biology to nautical design. Learn how metalwork and 3D printing are used in nautical engineering, then explore a fascinating world of undersea microbes. Try your hand at both traditional and modern shipbuilding techniques, and get a firsthand look at objects from the MIT Museum's Hart Nautical Collection. With activities from the MIT Foundry and Forge, Oceans at MIT, Sea Perch, and more!


InventNight with Lemelson-MIT JV InvenTeams

Learn how the students in the Lemelson-MIT Program's JV InvenTeams are learning about engineering and design as they present their inventions and teach you how to build your own contraptions. Brainstorm and prototype your way through the museum and learn how JV InvenTeams teaches students how to use their imagination to create amazing inventions! With presentations by prosthetics designer David Sengeh, artist Jie Qi, and design engineer Gihan Amarasiriwardena.


Nothing to Hide? Illusions of Privacy and Security

When was the last time you emptied your pockets and stepped through a security scanner? What were the last words you entered into an internet search engine? Data mining programs collect more and more information about our activities and our preferences. How much of ourselves are we sharing with government agencies and with corporations? Is the safety and convenience worth the cost to our privacy?

In this interactive evening, we will explore the questions of privacy and security raised by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's installation "Please Empty Your Pockets" alongside digital art, documentary footage, short live performances by the Underground Railway Theater, and an opportunity for in-depth discussion with MIT researchers Catherine D'Ignazio and Sara M. Watson, moderated by MIT Museum Director John Durant.


Engineering the Human Body

Human beings are no longer limited by the bodies that nature has given them. With recent advancements in prosthetics we are able to move faster, work harder and smarter, and reach new heights of human ability. Hear from researchers who are working on prosthetics for people around the world, as well as a Paralympic athlete from Massachusetts with a high-tech bionic hand. Also, experience firsthand how researchers develop tools for human augmentation in a high-speed motion lab.

Presenters: Mike Benning (Paralympian), Benjamin Maimon (Biomechatronics Lab, MIT Media Lab), Nick McGill (Titan Arm Engineer, University of Pennsylvania, Katy Olesnavage (Prosthetics Designer, MIT)


Food Footprints: Rethinking How We Eat

How does the food you eat end up on your table? How far away does it come from? And what impact does your diet have on the environment? Explore these questions and more as we bring together leading experts on urban food systems, sustainable food production, and more to explore the societal and environmental impacts of the things that we eat.

Presentations by:

John Reilly: Challenges to Sustainable Food Production: A Global Perspective

Edgar Blanco: Fast & Furious: Fresh Produce Supply Chains in Emerging Megacities

Tim Wise: Why "We" Won't Feed the World, and How We Could: Getting Real About the Challenges to Ending Hunger

Seth Itzkan: Greeting from the Paradigm Fence: How the Counter-Intuitive Practice of Restorative Grazing is Increasing Food Production While Drawing Down Atmospheric Carbon

Demonstrations by: Something GUD, Freight Farms, Six Foods


Living in the Future

High speed robots? Humans colonizing space? How do today’s technologies reflect what we’ve seen on the big screen? Sit back, grab some pizza and popcorn, and enjoy short clips from the fantastic and futuristic movies of yesterday and today. Then, hear from scientists and inventors about how close we are to taking the "fiction" out of "science fiction!"

Presentations by:

MARIO BOLLINI - Autonomous Cookie-baking Robots
Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder of GRIT

OLIVIER DE WECK - Humans as a Multi-planet Species
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT

ELINOR KARLSSON - Genetic Engineering
Postdoctoral Scientist, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

SANGBAE KIM - Robo Cheetah
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Biomimetic Robotics Lab, MIT

Research Scientist, Director, Self-Assembly Lab, MIT


Fall into a Chain Reaction

Bring your friends and build your own Rube Goldberg chain reaction contraption during our hands-on building extravaganza! Theme your contraption to Fall - with leaves, pumpkins, and whatever else reminds you of the coming season.


Always Connected: The Promise of Wearable Technology

How is wearable technology affecting the way that we interact with each other and the world around us? From virtual reality headsets to smart clothing, explore new advances in wearable technology by hearing from engineers and designers in the field as well as by trying out their inventions for yourself.

With presentations and demonstrations by:

Bioglass, embr labs, Goodlux Technology, Harmonix, Kopin Corporation, Ministry of Supply, Pavlok, Rosalind Picard, Sandy Pentland


Making Time for Play

Discover the tools and process to take a video game from idea to finished product. Hear from game design experts as they walk through the process of designing and building a game from scratch, and find out why games have been so important throughout history.

With presentations by:

Rik Eberhardt (Studio Manager, MIT Game Lab); Chris Foster (Senior Designer, Harmonix Music Systems); Derek Ham (Graduate Student, Department of Architecture at MIT); Graham Jones
(Associate Professor of Anthropology, MIT); Paul Medlock-Walton
Lead Developer (MIT Education Arcade)


Hello Holography

Exhibit curator Seth Riskin will lead tours of the MIT Museum's popular display holography exhibition, while museum educators present hands-on activities and demonstrations exploring the scientific principles behind these amazing images.


Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Presents Sila

Join actors and Sila director, writer at the MIT Museum for a special preview of this new play.


Nautical Night

Celebrate MIT and the sea at MIT Museum's fourth annual Nautical Night.


Compass Points: Joël Tettamanti

Get an insider's glimpse of our newest photographic exhibition.


D-Lab Project Showcase

Come see how MIT students are developing technologies that make an impact in our world!


Through the Listening Glass: A Concert by the MIT Glass Band

Immerse yourself in a tapestry of glass-blown music.


Insight to Innovation!

Learn about some unconventional inventions at MIT.


Circuit Symphony

Transform everyday objects into extraordinary instruments with technology developed at MIT. Meet MaKey MaKey co-inventor Eric Rosenbaum and explore using Drawdio, MaKey MaKey, and other inventions to create music with bananas and potatoes, paint and paper, and even stairs! Experience the wonder of a singing Tesla coil, and explore electrical conductance and capacitance as you push the boundaries of how music is made at the intersection of art and engineering.


The Thread That Binds Us

View the recently completed Mending Boston collage, a contemplative work that depicts the greater Boston community's response to the 2013 Boston Marathon tragedy. At the opening display of this piece at the MIT Museum, meet Clara Wainwright, the Cambridge artist behind the project. Then, take part in a community art project and lend your hand to a collaborative effort by the MIT community at large.


Chain Reaction!

Build a mechanical contraption and link it together with those made by others!


MIT Does Food

Stop by the MIT Museum for an evening of food science, featuring a steak-cooking demonstration from Serious Eats Chief Creative Officer J. Kenji López-Alt.


5:00-5:30pm - MIT Laboratory for Chocolate Science

5:45-6:30pm - Clover Food Lab: Knife Skills 101

6:45-7:15pm - Sproot: Food Psychology Jeopardy + "Guess That Veggie!"

7:30-8:00pm - Kenji López-Alt: How to Cook the Ultimate Steak


5000 Moving Parts

Join artist Anne Lilly, curator Laura Knott, and Gamelan Galak Tika in an exploration of our newest exhibition, 5000 Moving Parts.



Ready, Set, ZOOM!

Zoom into the new year with a showcase of high-speed engineering projects by MIT students and alumni.


Spacewar! Turns 50

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of this Spacewar! with a larger-than-life celebration of this influential game.


Nautical Night

Celebrate MIT and the sea at MIT Museum's third annual Nautical Night.


Rivers of Ice

The MIT Museum welcomes to you to the public unveiling of Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya.


Abbott in the Photographic Landscape

Get an insider's view of the gallery's inaugural exhibition, featuring revolutionary physics imagery from American photographer Berenice Abbott.


No special programs

Due to MIT Commencement activities, ONLY the first floor exhibits will be open to the public.

Superstition Mission

Don't be afraid – enjoy Friday the 13th at the MIT Museum as you test your detective skills at the Second Fridays Superstition Mission! 

Slide Rule Olympics

Celebrate calculation and computation with slide rules this summer at the MIT Museum. 

International Design Center Showcase

Meet Dan Frey, MIT Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Co-Director of the Singapore-MIT International Design Center, and his team as they demonstrate use of cutting-edge tools (think 3-D printers!) that help engineers experiment with and test their engineering ideas.

MIT Takes On Cancer

Join researchers from the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT for a series of exciting talks and hands-on demonstrations of ideas with the potential to change the way the world thinks about, diagnoses, and treats cancer.

Gestural Engineering With Arthur Ganson

Meet Arthur Ganson and tour the Museum's newly-expanded gestural engineering gallery.

Safe Skies and Little Black Boxes

Explore new technologies and meet the team behind the MIT Museum's newest Sampling MIT exhibit.



150 and Beyond

It's a Sesquicentennial Celebration at the MIT Museum!


Making Movies/Making Science

Challenge your views of the world around you with video screenings from MIT’s DV Lab.


Nautical Night

Come 'sea' the MIT Museum in a new way!


MIT Hacks

Enjoy free admission at the Museum as we celebrate the history of hacking at MIT.


Reel World MIT

Enjoy a night "behind the screens" at the MIT Museum.


Free admission to the galleries

Jump-start your weekend at the MIT Museum during our monthly free evening.


Explore MIT

Enjoy scavenger hunts in the Museum's award-winning MIT 150 Exhibition.


Summer Sampler

Find out what happens at the MIT Museum over the summer!


Starbound with Joe Haldeman

Join MIT author Joe Haldeman for an evening of literature and conversation at the MIT Museum.


Feel the Heat

Presenters from MIT Lincoln Laboratory present an evening of hot science and engineering.


Lights, Cameras, Actions

Celebrate the intersection of art and technology with hands-on demonstrations and light projection experiments at the MIT Museum.


A Farewell to MIT 150

Join us for a final celebration of the MIT 150 Exhibition during our monthly free evening.



Art and Animation!

Explore animation through the ages.


Darwin Day

Celebrate the life and work of Charles Darwin on the 201st anniversary of his birth!


Nautical Adventures

Talks, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more.


International Development Night
Join us for a fascinating expo and reception featuring some of the latest innovations and technologies surrounding international development at MIT.


MIT Authors

Join members of the MIT faculty for book readings and discussions.


Celebrating the Mind and Hand Exhibit

Come to the Museum for your last chance to see our history of MIT exhibit, Mind and Hand: The Making of MIT Scientists and Engineers.


Free admission to the galleries.

Jump-start your weekend at the MIT Museum during our monthly free evening.


Free admission to the galleries.

Jump-start your weekend at the MIT Museum during our monthly free evening.

Free Admission to the galleries.
Jump-start your weekend at the MIT Museum during our monthly free evening.
Laserfest 2010: The Laser at 50
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the laser!

Video Games at MIT

Meet some of the creative minds behind the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab.


Light Expo

Celebrate the opening of Luminous WIndows 2011.



Hands-on Activities

Create amazing light graffiti images using portable LEDs, build structures out of candy and everyday materials, or make a marble-sized roller coaster.


Nanotechnology Night

Explore carbon nanotubes and virus batteries.


Celebrate Holography

Debunking Hollywood's Holographs, GlowDoodle, and Luminous Windows 2010.

Detailed Program Descriptions

2009/2010 | 2010/2011 | 2011/2012 | 201/2013 | 2013/2014 | 2014/2015