Engineering can be leveraged to come up with clever solutions that improve performance of existing products while also being more socially conscientious, and cognizant of product lifecycle. Students will explore designing and growing building materials using mycelium (mushrooms). Mycelium paneling is preferable to mainstream options because it is biodegradable such that future updates to the theater will not generate landfill waste. The class will cover sustainability and alternative material use in construction, an introduction to mycology, basics of acoustic design, and tools to design acoustic panels and molds to grow them.  

Students will learn about: 

  • Mycology techniques and applications 
  • Computer aided design 
  • Building codes and policy 
  • Engineering Design and Decision Making 

Instructors: Brandon Bunt, Cooper Union Alumni and Masters student, and Cooper Union student teaching assistants

Participants: Students in 10th or 11th grade in the 2022-2023 school year. 

Session information: This six-week program offers one session starting Monday, July 10, 2023. Classes meet Monday - Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm.

Prerequisites: none

Teaching method: In person. The instructor and teaching assistants will lead students through daily scheduled lectures, discussions, and practice sessions at 41 Cooper Square. Other off campus field trips and site visits may also be scheduled.

Materials: All materials are included.  Students may opt to bring a personal computer.

Cost: $3995

Apply now:
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Course Code: STEM23-12

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.