Women’s Technology Program

Program Director: Cynthia Skier | Email | Website

77 Massachusetts Ave. • 38-491 • Cambridge, MA 02139 • (617) 253-5580

The Women’s Technology Program (WTP) was created in 2002 to encourage high school women with strong math, science, and analytical abilities to pursue studies in engineering and computer science. The program provides these pre-college women with positive female role models, college-level computing and engineering experience, and an understanding of what engineers and computer scientists do and how they work.

WTP is a rigorous academic program for female high school rising seniors who love and excel at math and science but have little or no background in engineering and computer science. During four weeks in the summer, participants live on the MIT campus and explore engineering and computer science through hands-on classes, labs, and team-based projects. Instruction is provided by female MIT graduate students, as well as MIT faculty and industry engineers who make presentations to students about research and career opportunities. Tours of MIT labs and off-campus facilities highlight how and where engineers work.

WTP offers two curriculum tracks; they are not certified academic programs and students do not receive college credit.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Classes cover three subject areas: 1) Computer Science introduces students to problem solving concepts using computer programming. 2) Electrical Engineering teaches the basics of digital and analog electronics through hands-on labs. 3) Discrete Math covers a range of topics related to EECS such as probability, binary numbers, logic, algorithms, and information theory. Students complete final team projects for each class and design and build a DC motor.

Mechanical Engineering

Classes cover the fundamentals of mechanical engineering, including statics, materials, fluid mechanics, idea generation, and design and manufacturing. Students practice the problem-solving techniques of engineers and complete two capstone projects: one that concentrates on the analytical and modeling work essential to effective engineering, and one that concentrates on designing and building machines for specified tasks.

Admission for WTP is very competitive. Sixty students (40 in EECS and 20 in ME) are admitted each year from a nationwide pool of top 11th-grade female math and science applicants. No prior experience in physics, calculus, computer programming, or engineering is required, but we do expect students to have taken the most advanced classes in science and math appropriate for their grade level at their schools, have standardized math test scores (PSAT, SAT, and ACT) in the 80th percentile or higher, and be able to handle college-level material at a rapid pace. We do not admit students who have already covered our curriculum through academic coursework or other summer programs.