The Future of Strategic Natural Resources: A Bazaar of Ideas

An opening exhibit and reception for "The Future of Strategic Natural Resources: A Bazaar of Ideas" will be held on Thursday, May 9, from 7:30-10 p.m. in Lobby 13. Freshmen from MIT's Terrascope learning community will present prototypes, models and demonstrations of the technologies and ideas they have been working on to explore and solve issues having to do with the abundance and distribution of strategic natural resources.

Some examples of projects they'll present include:

  • Exploring the use of red worms to break down phosphorus-rich algae for use as fertilizer, thus potentially addressing two complementary problems: a potential shortage of phosphorus, and runoff into rivers of phosphorus from chemical fertilizers.
  • Experiments that test genetically engineered phage to see if they can be designed to bind to indium (a rare-earth element); such phage could then be used to extract and recycle indium in a variety of settings.
  • A multiplayer game that teaches players, first-hand, about the tradeoffs inherent in mining, using and recycling strategic minerals.

Terrascope students began their work last fall by developing a plan to ensure that all nations have access to strategic minerals required by new technologies. They have recently returned from a trip over spring break to California and Nevada to learn first-hand about these issues.

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