The MIT Women’s Technology Program (WTP) is a four-week academic and residential program to introduce high school girls to engineering and computer science in the summer between 11th and 12th grade. The student application deadline for summer 2013 is January 1. We hope our EECS alumni will help us spread the word to high school students, science teachers, and math teachers in their communities.
WTP is designed for girls who currently excel at math and science, but who have not had an opportunity to learn about engineering or computer science. We encourage students to apply who enjoy problem solving and collaborative learning, and who would like to experience hands-on activities where they will design and build engineering projects, challenge their minds, and make friends with other young women who share their love of math and science.
WTP was founded in 2002 in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS); a Mechanical Engineering (ME) curriculum track was added in 2006. Sixty participants (40 for EECS and 20 for ME) are selected each year from a nationwide applicant pool.
The WTP-EECS curriculum includes analog and digital electronics and programming in Python. Discrete mathematics topics such as Boolean logic, algorithms, and information theory are also introduced and then applied
in the EE and CS classes. This college-level curriculum is designed and taught by female MIT graduate students; female MIT undergraduate students assist in the classroom and also live in the dorm, leading evening homework sessions and creating weekend social activities and field trips for the high school students.
We have been tracking our WTP-EECS alumnae since the program began in 2002.
Over 64% have majored in a field of engineering or computer science in college, and another 20% have majored in science or math. 43% have matriculated at MIT. Many tell us that before attending WTP they would not have considered majoring in engineering or computer science or applying to engineering colleges such as MIT.
What Summer 2012 WTP students said about their experience:
“When I applied to WTP, I was fully aware that as an academic program, the material would be challenging, and this definitely proved to be true. I did not, however, expect the material to be so interesting and inspiring. Before I arrived, I couldn't even decide between science and humanities, but thanks to my month here at this wonderful program, I've decided that EECS is my calling.”
“Not only have I learned so much about electrical engineering, computer science, and discrete math, I have also gained a broader perspective on the cutting edge discoveries and breakthroughs that are happening at MIT and developed my ability to think critically to solve problems.”
”I probably enjoyed and learned the most from the collaborative environment present throughout the program. I have never really experienced such an atmosphere where my peers so genuinely want to help and support me when I'm struggling. Through my high school experience I have gained the skills to progress through my coursework individually, but this program helped gave me a better perspective of how life in college, and perhaps throughout my career, may be — where the work I complete will probably not be individual, but a team effort.“
“Thanks to the classes and incredible projects here, I've finally found what I was looking for. I've found beauty in coding, in making circuits, and in building motors. I know which direction I want to go now, and that is an incredibly valuable thing to take home after WTP. I've learned some pretty amazing things here, and I can't wait to learn more in the future.”