The Saturday Engineering Enrichment and Discovery (SEED) Academy program reached new records this Spring 2020 semester, with the largest overall enrollment, largest number of new students admitted, and largest incoming 7th grade class in the program’s history. The program admitted 49 new students grades 7-10, for an overall total of 135 students. This included 20 students in its incoming 7th grade class. This Spring, the program also expanded the schools represented among its students to include Another Course to College school, located in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Boston.
The Spring 2020 SEED Academy scholars are diverse in gender, racial and ethnic representation and family backgrounds. Currently, 53 percent of scholars are female, and 47 percent are male; 73 percent are underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities in science and engineering (Black, LatinX, Native American), 57 percent will be the first in their family to graduate college, and 57 percent come from lower-income backgrounds. Additionally, 14 different languages are spoken across SEED Academy student homes, including Arabic, Amharic, Cantonese, Chinese, French, Greek, Igbo, Spanish, German, Polish, and Vietnamese.
SEED Academy, launched in 2002, brings public school students from Boston, Cambridge and Lawrence, Massachusetts to MIT for 8 Saturdays each semester. Students are admitted as early as 7th grade and stay in the program through their 12th grade, exploring a different field of science and engineering every semester. Currently, 22 scholars live in Cambridge, 25 in Lawrence and 88 in Boston. This semester students will explore Engineering Design (7th and 12th grades), Environmental Engineering (8th grade), Mechanical Engineering (9th grade), Robotics (10th grade), and Biological Engineering (11th grade).
The program hires instructors, teaching assistants and a facilitator every semester, and aims to involve members of the OEOP family and the local Boston/Cambridge community in serving students. This Spring the SEED Academy staff includes alumni of all OEOP programs (SEED, MOSTEC and MITES), MITES and MOSTEC teaching assistants and instructors, former OEOP staff members, and MIT undergraduate and graduate students. With a large percentage of SEED Academy alumni staying in the Greater Boston Area for college, graduate school and work, the program has increased its efforts to keep its alumni engaged and to foster a diverse STEM workforce.
SEED Academy students will present their final projects at the SEED Spring Symposium, to take place on May 9, 2020. During the Spring Symposium the program will be celebrating the graduating class of 2020 comprised of 18 high school seniors.