Programs & Services

Momentum

Momentum is an interdisciplinary design course (16.682) offered to first and second year undergraduate students during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP).

Momentum 2019 has reached capacity and applications are closed.

Momentum 2019 Teaching Assistant (TA) application is closed.

Please check back in Fall 2019 for information about Momentum 2020!

Questions? Please contact us: momentum@mit.edu

It is designed to prepare students for a future in the fields of science and engineering. Students are placed in groups and are challenged to use an engineering approach to solve a problem faced by the world today. Throughout the course, and along with other workshops, students receive assistance in resume building, oral presentations, interviewing, and participate in a networking event with industry representatives. The course culminates with group presentations to a panel of industry representatives.

COURSE SPECIFICS:

Students receive coursework during the first week of IAP, then in the remaining weeks they work in small teams to address the theme. Click here for a sample list of activities by week. In the past, themes have ranged from developing assistive technology to exploring intersection of virtual reality and education! The course culminates with group presentations to industry representatives. Momentum is, by design, an intense and profoundly rewarding experience. Furthermore, no prior knowledge of programming or engineering is expected or required to participate in Momentum.

BENEFITS:

During Momentum, students can expect to:

  • Receive 6 elective units of course credit

  • Obtain hands on design experience

  • Gain experience working in a team

  • Solve a real-world issue and present their solution to a panel of industry judges

  • Receive feedback on their design and implementation from the Momentum teaching staff

  • Enhance their programming and engineering skills

  • Gain experience networking with industry representatives

  • Have the opportunity to interview for potential summer internships

DESIGN REVIEWS AND PROGRESS REPORTS:

One key element of Momentum is that students have access to the expertise of the Momentum teaching staff. From TAs with a variety of backgrounds to the course instructor to visiting lecturers, students have a huge amount of knowledge to draw from. To best guide students, Momentum has two formal “check-ins” prior to the final competition. In these check-ins, termed design reviews and progress reports, students present their proposed solution to the Momentum teaching staff. Students indicate their current progress and proposed timeline, and voice any questions or concerns they have. The teaching staff helps guide the student projects by pointing out problem areas as well as complementing insightful solutions.

POSTER PRESENTATION AND COMPETITION DAY:

Momentum culminates with teams presenting their solutions to a panel of judges and to the general MIT community. It is a full day of activities which ends with a networking event where students interact with representatives from OME’s industry council, known as Industrial Advisory Council for Minority Education (IACME).

QUOTES FROM PARTICIPANTS:

“Momentum has made me realize that I am very excited about hands on work--the problem solving, design, and actual coding/EE work. I also have a better understanding of how I like to work--intensely and closely with a small group of teammates. Due to the plethora of opportunities we had to interact with industry representatives (interviews, etc.), I have a much better idea of what I would like to do in the future. I also am now applying to many positions this summer that I never would have thought to apply to! Overall, I would venture to say that Momentum has been a life changing experience. Thank you!”

"[TA] and [TA] were wonderful TAs! It was very obvious that they really cared about the topic and they always helped my team whenever we encountered an obstacle. They made sure that everyone on the team understood the task, helped us debug our code, and answered any other questions that we had. The GECD workshops were very helpful and insightful, I particularly enjoyed the public speaking workshop.  It was very interesting to learn that small changes in posture or simply smiling can dramatically change the way information is delivered."

MOMENTUM 2018 OVERVIEW

Virtual reality has the potential to reinvent the way we think about education! In 2018, Momentum challenged students to work at the forefront of this integrative educational frontier. Each student team produced a 10-minute educational demonstration for the Momentum competition that utilized the Windows Mixed Reality Headset (shown above) and Unity. Each solution was scored by a team of judges from industry and academia, and winners were declared in the following categories (in addition to one overall winner).

MOMENTUM 2017 OVERVIEW