2013 Year in Review
In This Issue

Highlights from 2013

MITES alum launches
3-D printer company, sparks passion in future engineers

Photo gallery: Middle School Mentoring students engineer creative prostheses in design challenge

Applications to MITES, E2@MIT and MOSTEC now available
Our national outreach programs empower talented students with the knowledge and confidence necessary to pursue careers in technical fields. High school juniors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may now apply.

By submitting just one MITES application, each student is automatically considered for three programs -- MITES, E2@MIT and MOSTEC.

Give to OEOP
Without the generous support of friends of the office like you, we wouldn't be able to offer our programs free of charge to our incredible students. 

Dear friends,   

With our SEED Academy Final Presentations on Saturday, November 23 and Middle School Mentoring Program brunch on Saturday, December 7, we have wrapped up another successful year of empowering students to develop skills and confidence in science and engineering.

This year, we served 462 amazingly talented students from as far away as Hawaii and as close as Boston, Cambridge and Lawrence. In total, we served students from 42 states and Puerto Rico.

Our alumni who graduated high school this year are thriving at top universities across the country. Schools that received the most newly matriculated OEOP alumni this year were MIT (58 OEOP alumni), Stanford (31), Harvard (16), Cornell (8) and Brown (7).

Others continue to take note of the great work of our students, staff and alumni. Last Sunday, the Boston Globe highlighted Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES), featuring quotes from MITES alum AJ Perez and OEOP Advisory Board member Bruce Birren.

We were only able to experience such a fantastic year because of the generous support of friends like you. Thank you, and please consider making an end-of-year gift to OEOP!

Shawna Young
Executive Director
Office of Engineering Outreach Programs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Highlights from 2013
MITES alum launches company, sparks interest in STEM with 3-D printer

AJ Perez is CEO of
NVbots, creators of an
efficient, affordable 3-D printer.
It was the summer of 2012, and MIT engineering students and fraternity brothers Alfonso "AJ" Perez, Mateo Peņa Doll, Chris Haid and Forrest Pieper ran into a problem. They were working on a project and needed to prototype parts, but they couldn't easily access a 3-D printer on campus to create the prototypes. They did, however, have free time and an endless supply of creativity, so they took on a seemingly impossible project - building their own 3-D printer in the basement of their fraternity. 

Today, the four are the ambitious co-founders of New Valence Robotics (NVbots), a company selling a more efficient, affordable and completely wireless 3-D printer to educational institutions and others. In early October, AJ, the CEO of NVbots, was also included among the winners of the Boston Globe's "Hive 25 under 25" an inaugural list of young local innovators. He is also the recent - and final - recipient of the Jerome Lemelson Fellowship, a scholarship for graduate students "whose research involves invention, innovation and intellectual property." 

The south Florida native first came to MIT as a rising high school senior participating in MITES. Even for AJ, a high-achieving student, the college-level coursework he encountered at MITES was an unexpected challenge. "I was a super arrogant kid coming in," AJ admits. "I got beat down a little bit."

"We stifle inventors at a young age by shoving them into a framework of very confined mathematical learning...
We should get them at a young age."
- AJ Perez

Photo gallery: Middle School Mentoring students engineer creative prostheses in design challenge

On Saturday, November 16, over 60 middle school and college students wielded plungers, bubble wrap and duct tape in a design challenge to construct a functional prosthetic leg. 

The activity was part of the OEOP Middle School Mentoring Program, which matches undergraduate and graduate mentors with middle school students from Boston, Cambridge and Lawrence, Massachusetts. The design challenge began with an introduction to common biomedical engineering terms and an overview of the engineering design process. Mentors and mentees then broke off into small groups and began sketching and building prosthesis prototypes from a limited supply of household items. In the end, the teams were judged on their prostheses' comfort, durability and usability. 

The design challenge was partially funded by the NSF Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, a partnership between MIT, the University of Washington, and San Diego State University that works to develop robust and adaptive closed-loop interaction between human nervous systems and sensorimotor devices.