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For K-12 Students

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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 two Cambridge public elementary schools. A group of twelve students and the science teacher from each school spends a full summer week on the MIT campus. They return for several after school sessions during the academic year.

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:

Each week includes a shoot-the-hoop design contest that challenges the students to design and build a machine, using a given set of materials, which will launch a marble through an upright hoop and into a basket beyond it. The final activity of the summer program is the actual contest, which is attended by families of the participating students.

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