“When you ask alumni about their most transformative experiences as students, they often tell you about an experiential learning opportunity that they had. MIT is a remarkable, one-of-a-kind place for this kind of educational approach.”
Experiential learning brings the Institute’s “mens et manus” spirit to life, providing MIT students with important opportunities to engage in meaningful research, service, social impact, and entrepreneurial projects.
Creating and sustaining opportunities for hands-on, immersive learning is key to educating the whole student. At MIT, we want our learners to have every opportunity to continue the personal and intellectual growth that led them here—and find a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. There are numerous opportunities to support experiential learning for MIT’s students, and gifts of all levels are deeply appreciated.
Experiential Learning Opportunities for Public Service and Social Impact | Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center | Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program | MIT Global Experiences | Edgerton Center | Project Manus
MIT undergraduates participating in an experiential
Our students are deeply concerned about global problems such as climate change, health equity, and racial justice, but very few have the opportunity to engage in public service and social impact work through experiential learning while at MIT, primarily because of financial barriers to entry.
MIT seeks additional funding to catalyze, promote, and support social impact essential learning opportunities (ELOs) across a wide range of issues (e.g., tech for good, climate change, racial justice, and health equity).
Support Social Impact ELOs
Numerous giving opportunities are available to help provide MIT undergraduates with immersive learning experiences with ethical, political, social, and community dimensions.
Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center (PKG) programs provide challenging, academically aligned, hands-on opportunities for MIT students to explore and meaningfully engage with ethical, political, social, and community issues. The PKG Center puts students on the front lines of key issues such as climate change, health equity, and tech for good, working side by side with innovative leaders and organizations.
Support the PKG Center
Each year, PKG must raise nearly 50% of its annual budget just to maintain existing programs. As student and community interest and participation in PKG programs have surged, the need for more funding is critical.
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students challenging, transformative experiences in research, from science, engineering, architecture, and management to the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The program, which turned 50 in 2019, supports nearly 6,000 projects yearly, with 92% of undergraduates participating and more than half of MIT faculty members active as UROP mentors.
Almost two-thirds of UROP’s central budget comes from donor support, with the balance coming from faculty and general MIT resources. For students, UROP pay is a critical means of financial support, especially in the summer. Each year, however, approximately 25% of students who seek UROP Office funding cannot be supported due to a limited budget. Philanthropic support is critical to MIT’s ability to support students doing pivotal research.
To learn more about supporting social impact ELOs, the PKG Center, or UROPs, contact Kate Trimble, senior associate dean and director, MIT Office of Experiential Learning, at email@example.com or 617.324.5176.
MIT Global Experiences (MISTI) helps MIT undergraduate and graduate students experience the world while advancing knowledge, tackling tough challenges, and preparing for lives of impact, service, and leadership in an interconnected society. MISTI experiences abroad are designed to be a global extension of students’ on-campus learning. International internships and teaching opportunities align with each student’s career goals—providing experiences that either directly leverage and extend their coursework and research in professional settings or complement their studies by pushing them to teach, communicate, and grow in profound new ways.
By supporting MISTI, donors help ensure that nearly 1,000 students per year have the opportunity to take their education abroad, tackle the world’s greatest challenges through hands-on learning, and foster community with other cultures. Philanthropic support can be: unrestricted, dedicated to one of MISTI’s impact areas, or focused on a specific country or region.
To learn more about supporting MISTI, contact David Dolev, associate director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.324.5581.
The Edgerton Center, one of MIT’s original makerspaces, was created to honor the legacy of inventor, entrepreneur, and MIT Professor Harold “Doc” Edgerton SM ’27, ScD ’31. Founded in 1992, the center offers subjects in engineering and imaging; supports student clubs and teams; manages student machine shops; and has a year-round K–12 program. In 1985, Doc Edgerton helped alumnus James Worden ’89 launch the Solar Electric Vehicle Team—the first of its kind in the country. The Edgerton Center adopted the team shortly after its founding and has since grown to host more than a dozen student-led engineering clubs and teams.
Support the Edgerton Center
Gifts to the Edgerton Center extend the generous legacy of Doc Edgerton by supporting student-led clubs and teams, courses in engineering and high-speed photography, machine shops, and K–12 outreach. Gifts of any size directly help support these students.
The spirit of making is central to MIT’s residential education and critical to the Institute’s innovation ecosystem, which supports the creation of practical solutions for positive impact. Inside makerspaces across campus, theory and knowledge are transformed into experiences, problem-solving skills, and potentially world-changing products.
MIT launched Project Manus in 2015 to expand MIT’s maker systems to meet the needs of a new generation. Now a part of the MIT Morningside Academy for Design, Project Manus continues to work to provide access to space, tools, resources, and community for new and seasoned student makers.
Support Project Manus
Help Project Manus and MIT increase making capacity on campus, improve access to makerspaces and resources, and foster maker communities.
To learn more about supporting the Edgerton Center or Project Manus, contact Peggy Eysenbach, development officer, MIT Office of Experiential Learning, at email@example.com or 617.324.4419.
Read More about Experiential Learning at MIT
→ Putting public service into practice
→ Meet the Project Manus makers
→ Experiential learning brings “mens et manus” to life
→ Wildly popular UROP is about “learning how you want to learn”
→ MIT PKG IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge grants more than $60,000 to student-led teams to address pressing societal issues
→ Passport for MIT makerspaces helps community put creativity into practice
→ New MIT internships expand research opportunities in Africa