What counts here—first and last—is not so-called knowledge of so-called facts, but vision—seeing. Seeing here implies Schauen [to see] (as in Weltanschauung [worldview]) and is coupled with fantasy, with imagination.
- Josef Albers, Interaction of Color
In the spring of 2017, I developed an educational series titled Ecology, Evolution, and Engineering for Empowered Brains (EEEeb) with a team drawn from the MIT Media Lab and the Empowered Brain Institute, a Cambridge-based nonprofit organization that specializes in engaging the special ability community in STEM-related workshops and activities. Held over eight weeks during the fall of 2017, the immediate goal of the series was to expose Boston-area neurodivergent youth to abstract topics in ecology and evolution through experimentation and play in a creative, hands-on, and—most importantly—artistic manner. In doing so, we simultaneously sought to make the presence of neurodiverse individuals, as well as their learning needs, more visible within the MIT community and beyond. More broadly, through the development of this course and upcoming related sessions, we hope to improve educational outcomes for neurodivergent individuals in STEM fields, and assist in cultivating a future in which guiding principles of neuroinclusion are more seamlessly integrated into pedagogy in the biological and engineering sciences. We hope to build toward a future in which all capable individuals can more easily realize and cultivate their ability to interpret, describe, and protect the natural world.