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Pre-College Program Category: STEM
LIFE AT RSIStudents begin their summer with one week of seminars highlighting current research topics in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics, and humanities. RSI students gain access to the extensive computing resources of MIT, and receive the tools they will need to find current publications, to model complex systems, to prepare a scientific paper, and to make a conference-style presentation. The RSI evening lecture series begins the first week and continues throughout the summer and provides students with the ability to meet face-to-face with science and technology leaders such as Nobel laureates and technology entrepreneurs. Students receive their preliminary assignments from their research mentors at the end of the first week, and many begin reading advanced texts and recent journal articles over the first weekend. Students join their laboratories at the beginning of the second week, spending “business hours plus” engaged in guided research from the second through the fifth week. All participants report the results of their work back to the Institute, preparing papers and oral presentations at a level appropriate for an academic conference. An outside panel of Boston-area academic and corporate scientists selects five papers and five presentations for special commendation during the last week of the program.Among the rigorous academic curriculum students enjoy a variety of field trips to nearby cultural attractions and expeditions to science and technology facilities in the Boston Area. Past RSI sessions have participated in Boston’s July 4th celebration on the Esplanade and enjoyed a weekend trip to discover the natural beauty of New England. Program staff are extremely responsive to student interest, and the activities of each RSI session reflect the unique character of the participants.ACADEMIC PROGRAMAt the core of the RSI academic program is an intensive, six-week introduction to scientific research. In fields ranging from category theory to cancer research, participants gain first-hand experience with open-ended, scientific inquiry in leading laboratories in the Boston area. Academic, corporate, and government-sponsored research teams invite RSI students to join in their ongoing projects, providing students an opportunity to make an original contribution.Many RSI students use their RSI research projects as a basis for entry to science competitions, garnering top awards in the annual Intel Science Talent Search, International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), and the Siemens Science and Technology Competition. Some are recognized by their labs with co-authorship credit on journal articles, and a few rejoin the labs as undergraduate or graduate students.Students invited to the program receive free tuition, room, and board. Their only expense is transportation to and from MIT. This allows CEE to select RSI students solely on the basis of academic records and their accomplishments.RSI is made possible through the support of individuals, parents, alumni, corporations, and U.S. government agencies.
- Application Process:
All U.S. students, including US Citizens studying at non-DoD schools overseas, with one year remaining before graduation from high school, may apply to RSI. US Citizens and Permanent Residents applications are submitted directly to CEE. Students are not nominated or selected by their schools. Successful applicants will have demonstrated superior scholastic achievement in mathematics, the sciences, and verbal arts. They will have shown the potential for leadership in science and mathematics through their activities in and beyond the classroom. Many will have a lengthy record of participation in mathematics, science, and engineering competitions at the regional, state, and national levels. Some will have completed university-level coursework, worked in a research laboratory, or conducted original scientific research. Others will have completed hands-on projects displaying significant ability in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics design, implementation, and analysis. Most will have been leaders in community and school activities.Each student's application must include:- The applicant's essay responses to the questions in the application. These should detail his or her goals in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.- Recommendations by two teachers (Math/Science or a research supervisor) familiar with the candidate and the candidate's scholastic record. Applicants who have participated in a research project of 4 weeks or longer at a university or a laboratory should request a recommendation from the research supervisor. CEE will accept a maximum of 3 recommendation letters.- The candidate's official high school transcript.- All scores from nationwide standardized tests. These include the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams. Students planning to apply for RSI are strongly encouraged to take the PSAT.
high school junior at the time of applicationIt is recommended that PSAT Math Scores be at least 740 or higher and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score be 700 or higher. ACT math scores should be at least 33 and verbal scores at least 34. Lower scores must be offset by strong indicators of mathematical, scientific, and academic potential exemplified in recommendations, high school grades, and science activities.