Engage and Enable Blog

In this blog and by sharing our stories, we aim to ENGAGE students, researchers and the public, and ENABLE people who have disabilities.


Larissa Ho (left) works with Nile Wilson, PhD student at UWMost high school students would be fortunate to land an internship during their four years of school. But Larissa Ho, a recent graduate of TAF Academy in Kent, Washington, has had four summer internships, including a stint at Google.

Her most recent internship was a lab-related experience known as the Young Scholars Program at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

Today, MIT Technology Review revealed its annual list of Innovators Under 35. For more than a decade, the company has recognized a list of talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. For her work in the field of nanotechnology and materials, Polina Anikeeva—who is a lead investigator at the CSNE—has been recognized as a pioneer on the list.

Dr. Anikeeva, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, took some time to reflect on the award and shared a few of her secrets for success.

A career in education can be challenging, but it also has its perks. For middle and high school teachers, one benefit is having summers free for vacation and leisure time.

Paul Zimmer, who teaches chemistry at South Kitsap High School, opted for something else this year. He joined five other educators in a Research Experience for Teachers program at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

Over the course of seven weeks, Zimmer and his colleagues worked in labs at the University of Washington, developed lesson plans and created a final project that they’ll show off on Friday, August 14.

QWOP, an online game that challenges you to help a man runJeremiah Wander likes to use the online running game known as QWOP as an analogy for his research. 

In QWOP, you control an athlete using the Q, W, O and P keys on a keyboard to move a man’s calves and thighs. The game is incredibly challenging; when most people run or walk, it just happens without thinking about it.

Wander studies signals that people don’t normally control, with the aim to use those signals to eventually create an action, like making a hand move.

Lars Crawford, Brian Mogen, Tyler Libey and Dimitrios Gklezakos“Taking a startup from idea to reality is a daunting process” is the opening line to a press announcement related to vHAB, a student-led startup that won the Tech Sandbox Competition in 2014. The team just learned that they are one of 10 companies accepted into the 2015 Jones + Foster Accelerator program. And they probably wouldn’t argue with the “daunting” description, though they have sometimes made it look easy to observers.