MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) is a great summer program for anyone interested in STEM, especially computer science and engineering. BWSI offers courses on autonomous race cars, underwater vehicles, air vehicles, embedded security and hardware hacking, data science in health and medicine, and more! My application process began in January and I was accepted in April. Before the course began in July, I had to complete prerequisite assignments specific to my autonomous race car course, which helped me learn Python and how to use GitHub. Students who weren’t accepted to BWSI’s program still gained access to these assignments and could complete them independently. The virtual program (which is normally held in-person at MIT) was four weeks long and ended with a final presentation event. Our eight-hour-days consisted of guest lectures from speakers, classes from our course instructors, and group work to apply concepts we learned. In my course of thirty students, we learned how to use Lidar, depth cameras, and color cameras to program race cars to autonomously navigate a course. During our final Grand Prix course, my group programmed our car to autonomously cone slalom, jump bridges, ride an elevator, and dodge trains! This course was a great summer opportunity, as I was able to meet and work with new people from all over the world and learn more about autonomous vehicles and computer programming. Those interested in BWSI should visit for more information about their application process.