Meet the 2024 LEGO Papert Fellows


Photos courtesy of the researchers

Photos courtesy of the researchers

The LEGO Papert Fellowships, endowed by the LEGO Foundation, are intended to honor the legacy and extend the work of Seymour Papert, one of the founding faculty members of the Media Lab and a pioneer in the development and study of new technologies to support playful, creative learning.

"Seymour Papert’s ideas have had a profound impact on learning and education projects at the Media Lab — and around the world! It’s great to welcome a new set of LEGO Papert Fellows who are building on Seymour’s ideas," says Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, who worked closely with Papert for many years and leads the selection process for the LEGO Papert Fellows. 

The new LEGO Papert Fellows will serve for the 2024-2025 academic year, and will spend one week at LEGO headquarters in Denmark during the fall semester to share ideas and collaborate on projects.

"This year's fellows are making significant contributions with their unique voices to the symphony of youth protagonism. They are weaving together a melody that echoes the diverse voices and perspectives of our future, and it is a pleasure to support and amplify the work of these rising leaders," says Ole Kjær Thomasen, Design Specialist at the LEGO Foundation.

About the 2024 Fellows

Kayla Briët (Lifelong Kindergarten)


Abbey Sacks

Kayla Briët is an artist exploring themes of belonging in multiple mediums of storytelling: film, music, and virtual reality. Through intimate live performances, she shares stories through wave-like vocals and live looping — mixing electronic beats with the strings of a Chinese guzheng zither and blending influences from her Chinese/Dutch-Indonesian heritage. Kayla's work has been exhibited by the Smithsonian Institute, MoMA, Adobe, National Geographic, PBS, and over 50 international film and music festivals. 

Ila Kumar (Affective Computing)


Jimmy Day

Ila is a research assistant and PhD student in the Affective Computing group at the MIT Media Lab.  As a researcher and community-based designer, Ila designs healing socio-digital interventions with and for youth who have experienced developmental trauma, with a particular emphasis on improving care for young adults who have experienced foster care. Her methodologies draw on therapeutic best practices, trauma-informed and healing centered frameworks, and collaborative design principles, centering the perspectives and experiences of young people who need the most support, prioritizing reciprocity and safety, and following an iterative prototyping process. Following these practices has led to Ila’s current focus, designing digital spaces for youth to express themselves and build resonance with others, bolstering them in forming new, supportive connections. Prior to joining the Media Lab, Ila spent three years designing technology to improve well-being in nonprofit, academic, and healthcare settings. Before this, she completed her BA in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Ana Schon (Opera of the Future)


vika brennick

Ana Schon was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has been composing, recording, and performing music as long as she can remember. As a master’s student in the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab, she hopes to combine her experience with her interest in innovative technology to create sound that truly connects performers and audiences.

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