To all those MIT prospective student . . .

<p>What summer programs have you been in the summer after Sophomore and Junior year in High school?</p>

<p>Please answer this question. Thank you.</p>

<p>Nothing very prestigious. I did the Young Scholars' Program at Northeastern University the summer after my sophomore year, and at the same time was volunteering at a summer camp type program. That year I also accompanied a cellist on several pieces. Summer after junior year, I took classes at MIT through their student-run Educational Studies Program - I took physics, web design, abstract algebra, another physics class, and image processing. I also took classes online through the Art of Problem Solving - AMC and AIME prep, as well as a mathcounts class because I coach the middle + high school math teams. I also volunteered at the science museum. And ran math team meetings. Overall, nothing prestigious - I got rejected from RSI - but just stuff I liked to do :-)</p>

<p>CTD/CTY program at Northwestern or Johns Hopkins are pretty popular for 9th and 10th graders.</p>

<p>Harvard Summer School is a pretty popular destination for the summer of the junior year.</p>

<p>I did both of these--neither are difficult to get into.</p>

<p>^yeah that's what everyone does. and lalaloo6, your summer activities are good, exactly the "passion" that MIT wants to see, but only for people who are actualy interested in math. and i wanna coach the math team!! that sounds like fun. (altho if i am qualified to do so, i do not know)</p>

<p>What are your guys' opinions on EPGY at Stanford?
To lalaloo6,
Can you give me more info on the AMC and AIME online prep? The website perhaps? Thank you. all</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>


<p>I love it. :-) And the Art of Problem Solving Books are AWESOME too.</p>

<p>lol, "qualified" to coach math team. None of the math teachers at my school would be adviser for the math team, so we ended up with the chem teacher! He drives us places and makes photocopies; I take care of other stuff. Qualified? Heh, I found out last year how hard it was. So I took those classes, and this year things are better. But it did help to have math through calculus under my belt before coaching math team; actually, it was pretty necessary. Though it was still hard for me to teach trig so that team members could actually understand, especially when we were only meeting 1X/week. But that's ok. The team is getting a lot better. I think this year some of us will qualify for AIME :-D. We'll see though...</p>

<li>Lol sorry for posting so many times, but I guess I should make it clear that even with my lack of <em>prestigious</em> summer programs, I got into MIT EA. I think it's fine if you just do what you like to do and keep busy with it. Oh yeah... I also tutored math a bit. lol. Basically, just a bunch of math/piano/volunteering-related stuff :-)</li>

<p>My son sat under a tree with the laptop and daydreamed a lot last summer. Got a research paper out of it. The rest is history. :)</p>

<p>i went to MITES...</p>

<p>yeahyeah let's spread the AoPS love around :)</p>

<p>My daughter spent the summer after her junior year climbing Mt. Everest and Mt. Shasta. She also did a research project that she eventually presented at a scientific conference (not a science fair). She's a freshman now at MIT.</p>

<p>She also did a residential program in Quantum Mechanics at EPGY the summer after her sophomore year (calculus was a pre-req) and loved it. I think there were around 20-25 kids in the program from all over the world.</p>

<p>I don't think it's possible for a parent to develop a plan for his/her child to take certain courses and summer programs to "get into" MIT. To some extent, it's a lottery. I also believe the admissions staff is really looking for kids who have followed math/science/engineering interests on their own. </p>

<p>In my earlier post, when I said my daughter had gone to EPGY, I'd have to add that wasn't our idea. Nope. She had wanted to take a university course in quantum mechanics since around age 13...hard to believe, but there you are. She was cruising online in her sophomore year and found the EPGY course. We helped by paying for it (they do have scholarships, by the way). </p>

<p>Her science research happened in a similar way. She found a scientist willing to take her on, and we helped by driving her back and forth.</p>

<p>I went to a 6-week program at Carnegie Mellon last summer (the one after junior year). I took two courses--Intro to Ethics and Intro to Programming. I thought it was definitely a lot of fun and it probably looked very good on my apps, because it was FREE. Note: This is Diversity. The one that actually costs money is Pre-College
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>But seriously...DS <em>did</em> do most of his research under a tree. He met with his mentor at a local university about once a week and they'd bat around ideas and DS would have to present his findings. Then he'd come home and spend more time musing (and occasionally banging his head against said tree).</p>

<p>The previous summer, he went to a math program known for doing high-level, awesome math in a collaborative, non-math competition-oriented setting. It rocked his world.</p>

<p>Prestige was never a part of the picture. Chasing down his interests was.</p>

<p>CoutingDown, your son is an awesome exception to basically every rule in the book, though. Had I sat under a tree thinking about math or computers or what have you for extended periods of time, my brain would have hurt and I would have fallen asleep or gone and made cookies instead.</p>

<p>That being said, I am a really hands on, doing things, making things work type of person, so I'm a bit more made for the lab environment. Like CalAlum's daughter, I found my own mentor to help guide my research (in bio, which is what rocks my socks, you kind of need a lab to do the research I wanted to do) and let me play around in his lab for a summer. I also went to HSHSP, which coincidentally happened to be at MSU where my mentor was. It ended up being the best summer of my life and I met some really incredible people. My project never ended up winning anything (I would have needed another year to get everything done that I wanted to and make it a decent project for any high school science fair), but the experience I gained was invaluable. Oh, and I loved every minute of it. Even the OMG-my-cells-are-dying parts.</p>

<p>So in answer to the OP, what summer programs have I done? None that didn't change me for the better.</p>

He <em>did</em> fall asleep a few times. I have pictures. :) You couldn't pay him enough to work in a lab, though. He likes theory -- no nasty data to collect! He says he doesn't like engineering, but he seems pretty adept at building things and is probably the most mechanical one on our house. His best buddy is a real lab rat -- he's been doing research for the past several summers and has decided that's his calling. The two of them sit around and have these really interesting and theoretical conversations. We have always wondered what would happen if the two of them collaborated on a project. I assume it would involve something exploding and a fair amount of physics. Think xkcd...</p>

<p>Is it really okay to let kids do whatever they are interested in . . . ?</p>

<p>YES, YES, YES. Let them fly wherever their wings and minds take them.</p>

<p>Is it really okay to let kids do whatever they are interested in . . . ?</p>

<p>As long as they're not interested in breaking into your neighbors' houses, selling drugs, or bullying small children.</p>