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What Students Think of Terrascope

See and hear what former students are saying about the program here. Below you can also read some comments about the program.

"It made my first semester in college much more exciting. Without it, I would have been taking "glorified" high school classes, each one much harder but essentially in the traditional style of lectures, homework, and exams. With Mission, I was doing something real, and learning about how the world worked outside of an academic setting. I liked that there was no perfect answer--no one could tell us we were doing it wrong because no one had come up with a solution yet.

The Terrascope community also helped a lot--many of my friends were in Terrascope, and my first UROP came from a Terrascope lunchtime lecture. The second semester, a Terrascope alum helped tutor me in 8.02, which I really needed. 1.016 was also fun. I've always been interested in communication, and museum exhibits/radio were brand new for me, and exciting to work with. And of course there's life after freshman year. UTFing is fun, and I learn different things every year from the same class (Mission)."

Lisa Song 08

"No matter what the year's topic, Terrascope brings together great students who care about making the world a better place. It teaches you how to tackle large problems and connects you with students and faculty who can help you make a difference even while still at MIT."
Peter Mulligan 08

"Mission is a class that you will never forget while at MIT. You get to attack some of our planet's biggest problems, and are required to come up with valid and useful solutions to solve those problems. It's a class that teaches you how to deal with people from all walks of life and opinions, introduces you to some of the best researchers in the world, and in the end requires a result that will change the world we live in for the better. What more could you ask for?"
Leif Francel 2010

"Definitely the best part of my freshman year"
Andy Wickert 08

"One of the most amazing things about Mission 2010 was how intense everyone became about trying to come up with a solution that would really work. It's not "just another project" - for me, this was the first time I was given this much freedom on a project to really research the problems from all the different angles and brainstorm for hours and hours with other students about why certain solutions would or would not work. Looking back, it's amazing how our class was able to pull ourselves from a disorganized group of freshmen who barely knew anything about New Orleans to research all of the problems - from geology to civil engineering to insurance policies - facing New Orleans. And, once we'd found those problems - and they all looked essentially impossible to solve - to actually develop solutions and create a huge webpage and presentation explaining them."
Emily Davidson 2010

"I enrolled in Terrascope in my first semester, Fall 2003. I was looking for an interesting and challenging academic experience and a community of like-minded peers. I could not have made a better decision.

Mission 2007 was the defining academic experience of my first year. My fall semester had continuity and focus and it was the most inspiring and creative one I have had. I was immersed in a community of engaged individuals. I learned how to communicate, collaborate, and create new ideas.

12.000 - or Mission as we called it - unleashed in me the drive and focus to see the bigger picture in my other course work. As an open-ended problem, Mission provided something more challenging than physics or math or chemistry could, and made these courses more readily surmountable. It taught me how to learn on my own and how to work in groups. It provided a supportive environment for me to develop my own ideas and communicate them. It gave me confidence in my ability to think and learn; without this community and this focus, my peers outside Mission class often experienced the opposite development.

Reflecting from the verge of graduation, Mission is still the most transformative class I took at MIT, and Terrascope has been a constantly positive part of my academic experience. I have helped teach six Terrascope subjects since that first year and in each I have watched students make the same transformations I went through."
Aron Walker

"The Mission class definitely made my freshmen year of college totally different. I had never done anything like it, and neither had any of my friends at other colleges. While I was taking Mission, it made me realize how diverse the community there was, and how I had to adapt to it. I learned how to better work in a group and just simple fundamental communication skills.

The community that came with the Terrascope program is amazing. Most of my friends were in the class and it was just a great way to network. The Wednesday lunch lectures are great and you get to meet a lot of really cool people. Then once you complete the classes, you can be an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow or UTF. UTFing is a lot of fun and it just lets you meet so many other people who you might have not ever met."
LeVon Thomas 2009

"Life is the reflection of the conscious and unconscious decisions we make. At the beginning of your MIT education, YOUR Mission experience decisions will change your MIT life from your friends. Mission will build your experience in tackling problems in a group of people. Conducting research, searching databases for your research, collaborating with the people for a common goal and defending your idea in front of experts are some of the skills that you will gain at the end of Mission.

After Mission, you will be the person who knows what he is talking about. You will learn essential skills for any career path you take. Come change the world, with the smartest people in the world, you will not have another opportunity as such."
Cankutan Hasar 10