MIT Engineering Design Workshop for Boston High School Students

Posted on August 7, 2011  Comments (3)

This summer, a few dozen Boston-area high school students chose to spend their mornings toiling away with a variety of materials to create working marvels of engineering in the Engineering Design Workshop, a month-long program that gives teenagers a hands-on experience with the joys and challenges of engineering.

None of the activities are prescribed; instead, students take part in brainstorming sessions on the first day, and things develop from there. Typically, the “counselors” — a mix of undergraduate and graduate students from MIT and other local universities — present a few ideas, and the high school students decide which projects they’d most like to work on. I really like the idea of involving the college students.

This year, the 22 students divided themselves into five projects: a modified Razor scooter, equipped with a motor and brakes; a sound system of giant tower speakers; remote-controlled “anything” (which ended up including cars, fish, birds and even a flying turtle); a mosaic tiger meticulously assembled from pieces of stained glass; and an electric cello.

Each student is allotted $100 to spend on materials for his or her group’s project; this way, projects that attract more students have a larger budget to work with. Counselors help them purchase supplies online and work with them on the construction from the ground up.

There are probably thousands of similar type activities throughout the year to help engage students in engineering. I think it is great, but we need to do more. We need to let young students know what they are missing. If people know the wonders of engineering and choose something else for their career path, that is fine. It is a shame when people don’t get to decide, because they never experience what engineering has to offer.

Read the full press release.

Related: Infinity Project: Engineering Education for Today’s ClassroomRutgers Initiative to Help Disadvantaged ChildrenInspirational EngineerWhat Kids can Learn on Their Own

3 Responses to “MIT Engineering Design Workshop for Boston High School Students”

  1. Daniel
    August 9th, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    That’s great! I’m very glad that high school students are motivated in attempting engineering, rather than doing other unproductive activities during the summer. This MIT Engineering Design Workshop sounds very nice for hosting such an event for the students. I will read more into this story.

  2. Anonymous
    August 10th, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    @Daniel : this is not any high school, this is the MIT. When you are studying there it’s because you like it not because your parents have a lot of money …

  3. Vanessa
    September 30th, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    Parents, high-school students and educators from the Boston area are invited to attend an Education in Ireland Student Fair to learn more about education opportunities in Ireland and why an increasing number of Americans are choosing to study there. Education in Ireland is an initiative of the Irish government that highlights the advantages of higher education in Ireland. This event is free.

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