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Popular Mechanics

Researchers at MIT have created a 3D-printable Oreometer that uses twisting force to determine if it is possible to evenly split an Oreo cookie, reports Juandre for Popular Mechanics. “While studying the twisting motion, the engineers also discovered the torque required to successfully open an Oreo is about the same as what’s needed to turn a doorknob—a tenth of the torque required to open a bottle cap,” writes Juandre.

USA Today

A group of MIT scientists led by PhD candidate Crystal Owens has developed an Oreometer, a device used to determine if it is possible to evenly split an Oreo cookie every time, reports Maria Jimenez Moya for USA Today. “One day, just doing experiments, and, all of a sudden we realized that this machine would be perfect for opening Oreos because it already has … the fluid in the center, and then these two discs are like the same geometry as an Oreo,” says Owens.

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have developed an “Oreometer” to test the optimal way to split an Oreo cookie, an exercise in rheology, or the study of how matter flows, reports Isaac Shultz for Gizmodo. "Our favorite twist was rotating while pulling Oreos apart from one side, as a kind of peel-and-twist, which was the most reliable for getting a very clean break,” explains graduate student Crystal Owens.

CNN

CNN reporter Madeline Holcombe spotlights a new study by MIT researchers exploring why the cream on Oreo cookies always sticks to one side when twisted open. Graduate student Crystal Owens explains that she hopes the research will inspire people "to investigate other puzzles in the kitchen in scientific ways. The best scientific research, even at MIT, is driven by curiosity to understand the world around us, when someone sees something weird or unknown and takes the time to think 'I wonder why that happens like that?'"

Popular Science

Graduate student Crystal Owens speaks with Popular Science reporter Philip Kiefer about her work exploring why the cream filling of an Oreo cookie always sticks to one side. “It turns out there’s not really a trick to it,” Owens says. “Everything you try to do will get mostly a clean break.”

VICE

Graduate student Crystal Owens and her colleagues tested the possibility of separating the two wafers of an Oreo in a way that evenly splits the cream filling using a rheometer, an instrument that measures torque and viscosity of various substances, reports Becky Ferreira for Vice. “After twisting Oreos apart with the instruments, the team visually inspected the ratio of creme on each wafer and logged the findings. A number of variations on the experiment were also introduced, such as dipping the cookies in milk, changing the rotation rate of the rheometer, and testing different Oreo flavors and filling quantities,” writes Ferreira.

CBS Boston

Chiamaka Agbasi-Porter, the K-12 STEM outreach coordinator for Lincoln Lab, speaks with CBS Boston about her mission to help inspire young people to pursue STEM interests through the Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE) program. “I think of it as a community,” said Agbasi-Porter, “we are a village that is helping our kids advance and move forward in their careers.”

TechCrunch

Arun Saigal SB ’13, MEng ’13 and WeiHua Li ’BS ’14 MA ’15 co-founded Thunkable, an online platform developed to make building mobile apps easier, writes Ingrid Lunden for TechCrunch. “Saigal said that its initial focus was on consumers, which in itself is another big concept of the moment, that of the creator economy and users – not professional publishers and others – creating the content that the mass market is consuming,” writes Lunden.

GBH

GBH reporter Megan Smith spotlights how the Educational Justice Institute at MIT, which offers learning programs to incarcerated individuals, was able to expand its reach through a new virtual platform that allows for real-time interaction, and provides an opportunity to bring together students from different facilities and local universities. “I really enjoy the humanity in the course because over a period of time you realize — it’s not about ‘inside’ students or ‘outside’ students, really,” said Mackenzie Kelley, a student in the program. “It’s just, we’re all human and we all make mistakes.”

NPR

NPR’s Ted Radio Hour spotlights the work of Alicia Chong Rodriguez SM ’17, SM ’18, who is trying to address the gaps that exist in women’s health data through a smart bra that can be used to acquire physiological data. Chong’s startup BloomerTech has “built medical-grade textile sensors that can adapt to multiple bra styles and sizes for continuous, reliable and repeatable data all around her torso and her heart.”

New York Times

Shirley McBay, the dean for student affairs at MIT in the 1980s and a leading advocate for diversity in science and math education, has died at age 86, reports Clay Risen for The New York Times. McBay “confronted the challenge of bringing more students from underrepresented minorities into science, technology, engineering and math, both at her university and in higher education broadly.”

GBH

Graduate student Olumakinde “Makinde” Ogunnaike and Josh Sariñana PhD ’11 join Boston Public Radio to discuss The Poetry of Science, an initiative that brought together artists and scientists of color to help translate complex scientific research through art and poetry. “Science is often a very difficult thing to penetrate,” says Sariñana. “I thought poetry would be a great way to translate the really abstract concepts into more of an emotional complexity of who the scientists actually are.”

Popular Science

Writing for Popular Science, Sarah Scoles spotlights DAILy (Developing AI Literacy) initiative, a project by MIT researchers and students aimed at teaching middle schoolers “the technical, creative, and ethical implications of AI, taking them from building PB&Js to totally redesigning YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.”

GBH

Senior Lecturer Renee Richardson Gosline joins GBH’s Basic Black program to discuss ways to increase diversity in STEAM fields, and how to lower barriers and encourage kids of color to pursue STEAM careers. 

Boston Globe

Rebekah Huang, a seven-year-old from Belmont who participated in a program sponsored by the Lemelson-MIT program aimed at teaching children about innovation, took second place for her age group at a global invention competition for her device that keeps chairs from tipping over, reports Diana Bravo for The Boston Globe. “You can buy special types of chairs that don’t tip over easily, but my suction holder string can be put around any chair you already have at home,” says Huang. “So my invention is much more convenient.”