Information for Presenters:
What is Women's Initiative?
How much time is involved?
What is the presentation format?
What is the trip like?
Where are the trips this year?
How much will it cost?
Who is eligible to apply?
How do I apply?
During the month of January, enthusiastic women studying engineering, math, or science at MIT make presentations at high schools nationwide with the goal of encouraging women to consider a career in STEM. Presentations typically include activities that engage students to think about science and engineering concepts, demonstrations from projects presenters have worked on at MIT and in industry, and information about the breadth of fields in STEM. Typically presenters also incorporate personal stories about how they chose their fields of study. Women's Initiative is not intended to recruit for MIT but rather to provide information and encourage high school women to explore careers in science, engineering, and mathematics.
There will be four training sessions spread throughout the fall semester. Presenters are expected to attend at least 3 out of the 4 meetings. During these meetings, presenters will get to know each other and discuss how to get more girls interested in STEM. We will also handle the logistics of preparing the presentations and planning the trips. Although some meetings will be devoted to working on your presentation, you will be responsible for coordinating with your partner to complete and practice your presentation. The directors must hear a practice run of your presentation before you leave for Christmas break.
Presentations generally last 60-90 minutes (including a Q&A session) and may be delivered to either all female or mixed audiences, depending on the school. Each pair of presenters makes their own presentation, following some general guidelines. Each presentation should include:
- An explanation of what STEM is, and what it encompasses
- A stereotype-busting discussion of careers in STEM, and why high schools girls should consider them
- A fun, hands-on activity
- A discussion of the presenter's own experience in STEM
Click here to read more about the presentations and see examples from previous years.
You and your partner will select a week in January to fly to your destination city. Presenters typically fly in the Saturday or Sunday before their presentation week and leave the following weekend. During the weekdays, you will be busy presenting to different schools during the day. Evenings are usually free and yours to spend exploring the city. You and your partner will stay at a hotel or with a local (through a home stay) for the week and you will each be given a $125 stipend for food during the week. Presenters will also share a rental car, which means that at least one presenter must be comfortable driving a rental car.
Presenter destinations for 2015 have not yet been finalized. However, last year presenters traveled to Sitka/Juneau, AK, Baton Rouge, LA, San Francisco, CA, Cupertino, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, Miami, FL, Portland, OR, Washington, DC, and many schools in the greater Boston area extending to Nashua, NH.
In other years, presenters have visited Chicago, IL, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, South Carolina, Vancouver, BC, Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, CA, Albuquerque, NM, Dallas, TX, Little Rock, AK, Chattanooga, TN, and many more cities!
Nothing. The program is fully funded and no costs are incurred by either the presenters or the high schools. However, you will have to pay for your travel expenses up front and be reimbursed later. If this presents a financial hardship, other arrangements can be made.
You are eligible to apply as a presenter if you are:
- A female engineering, math, or science student (undergrad or grad)
- At least a sophomore
- Available for the training sessions during the fall (tentatively the second and third weekend in November. Note: Presenters must attend BOTH trainings; these dates/times are subject to change)
- Available to travel for one complete week (Sunday to the following Saturday) during IAP. Please note that you do not need to travel from MIT. You may travel directly from wherever you are during IAP.
- Available to answer email correspondences from the teachers and students of your presented district after the trip
Presenter applications for 2016 will be available soon here: presenter application .
If you have any questions about the program, please get in contact with us!