Ernest Aguayo SB '97
Other Affiliations : MEd - Harvard
As a kid, Ernest pored over the seemingly cryptic engineering schematics and equations at his father’s desk and asked for help making sense of them all. He would take apart (and sometimes even put back together) various household gadgets to try to figure out how they worked and would implore his parents to drive him to countless libraries and museums throughout his childhood. This lifelong love of science and learning inspired Ernest to eventually pursue his bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering at MIT and a master’s in education at Harvard. After moving to the Bay Area, Ernest fell in love with the Exploratorium, the interactive museum of science, art, and human perception in San Francisco. He could not get enough of the unique, endearing, and elegant exhibits that blew his mind, made him laugh, or taught him something about the world or about himself. After volunteering at the Exploratorium with weekend and evening public programs, he would later work as an educator of students visiting on field trips during the school year. Ernest is now Project Coordinator at The Tinkering Studio, an immersive, active place at the museum where visitors can slow down, become deeply engaged in an investigation of scientific phenomena, and make something that fully represents their ideas and aesthetic. One of his favorite parts of his job is hearing others’ perceptions and questions about science and finding new ways to empower them to express their thoughts in new, informal, and playful ways.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the MITCNC?
I wanted to give back to the organization behind so many events I have enjoyed over the past 20 years. I love meeting fellow alums, and I especially want to help create more opportunities for Bay Area families to discover and learn about science and engineering together.
Tell us a bit about your role with the MITCNC. What are your responsibilities in this position?
Our team will be figuring out how to tap into the curious mindset and technical experiences unique to the Bay Area to plan and execute events that get kids and their parents really excited about STEAM-related discovery.
What exciting things can we expect to see from your area of focus in the coming months? (e.g., social events, speakers, etc.)
At our core as MIT alums, we are all geeks. On top of that, we geeky alums in the area are living in one of the most innovative hotbeds of technology and engineering in the world. What better place to engage families with events that re-kindle grown-ups’ love of STEAM that also inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers, getting them excited about pursuing and excelling at the high-tech careers of the future.
Describe one of your most memorable MIT moments.
One of my favorite memories was the Course 16 end-of-year tradition of sophomores traveling to a small airfield outside of Boston to go up in planes and helicopters operated by their professors. I will never forget the Zero-G parabolas, induced stalls, and other stomach-churning stunts we got to experience, giving (very!) real-life context to the equations we learned in the classroom.