For K-12


Since 1992, the Center for Materials Science and Engineering has operated a Science and Engineering Program for Middle School Students designed to familiarize young adolescents with the field of materials science and engineering. In the course of hands-on explorations of the properties of various materials and the manipulation of those materials for specific applications, students learn basic materials science concepts. They also learn firsthand that science is fun!

This program targets seventh and eighth grade students from a Cambridge public middle school. A group of sixteen students and the science teacher from each school spends a full summer week on the MIT campus.

While on campus, the students are mentored by MIT undergraduates. The activities are designed and taught by faculty, technical staff, graduate students, and undergraduates. Recent program activities include:

  • building solar cells
  • exploring light
  • energy demonstrations
  • polymer demonstrations
  • microscopy
  • metal casting
  • glassblowing
  • electric circuitry
  • making a motor


CMSE is a co-sponsor of the  MIT Woman's Technology Program, a four-week summer academic and residential experience where female high school students explore engineering through hands-on classes, labs, and team-based projects.


  • 40 high school women, all rising seniors
  • Highly competitive selection process

Program Objective
To increase young women’s confidence in pursuing science and engineering careers

Program Features

  • Residential, four-week summer program
  • CMSE will contribute a hands-on engineering design class
  • Rigorous classes in computer science, math, electrical engineering and engineering design
  • Strong correlation between program participation and an ongoing interest and career in science and engineering