$1 Million Gift to Support Diversity in STEM Education

Published in MIT News on August 1, 2016, by Audrey Resutek

Gift from Hopper-Dean Foundation will enhance computer science and engineering programs for high school and middle school students.

What's the best way to spark an interest in computer science and engineering? Start early. That’s the goal behind a two-year $1 million gift from the Hopper-Dean Foundation to three STEM education programs at MIT.  

The programs — Saturday Engineering Enrichment and Discovery (SEED) Academy, CodeIt, and the Women’s Technology Program (WTP) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science — aim to diversify the computer science and engineering community by introducing students who are underrepresented and underserved in the field to computer science. These students include women, students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and students who identify as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/Pacific Islander.

“We are so pleased to receive generous support from the Hopper-Dean Foundation for these critically important programs,” said Anantha Chandrakasan, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “We hope that, with these resources, we can help an even broader range of students learn to love engineering and computer science.”

A key focus of the gift is removing obstacles some students may face, for example, through reducing or eliminating program fees, or providing transportation for students who cannot get to weekend programs on their own...

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