FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About ESP

  1. What is ESP?
  2. Does ESP have meetings?
  3. Where are ESP programs held?
  4. Who teaches for ESP programs?
  5. Who runs ESP?
  6. I'd like to visit ESP, where is the office?
  7. What programs does ESP run?
  8. How can I be notified about upcoming ESP programs?
  9. How much do ESP programs cost?
  10. How can I help?
  11. Can Splash come to my school?
  12. Can students younger than middle school age participate?
  13. Does ESP offer tutoring?
  14. How do I volunteer to teach?
  15. What can I teach?
  16. I have registered for a program, but I haven't received any information from you even though it's been some time since registration has closed.

1. What is ESP?

ESP is a non-profit student organization at MIT. We bring together passionate teachers (from the MIT community and beyond) and students who want to learn (from the Boston area and beyond) through enrichment classes on and off of the MIT campus. The result is, of course, great learning.

For more information, see our Discover ESP section.


2. Does ESP have meetings?

ESP meets weekly in the ESP Office (W20-467 in the MIT Student Center). See the Get Involved section to get involved.


3. Where are ESP programs held?

ESP programs are all held on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. See the program specific sights and the MIT map for more details. See also Getting to ESP.


4. Who teaches for ESP programs?

ESP teachers are MIT students, alumni, faculty, and community members; they are also students at other universities, local professionals, and other interested people in the Boston area. All of us are drawn together because we share a love of teaching, because we want to share what we are most passionate about, and because ESP brings together the students in Boston most interested in learning.


5. Who runs ESP?

ESP is a student group at MIT. We receive support in the form of classrooms, office space, and more from MIT, through the Association of Student Activities. However, ESP is run entirely "in house" by its officers (who are mostly MIT students). See the Who runs ESP? page for more information.


6. I'd like to visit ESP, where is the office?

Our office is located in the MIT Student Center (known on the MIT campus as building "W20"). Our office number is W20-467. Go up to the fourth floor and look for the big ESP sign. ESP holds regular office hours and meetings. Feel free to come by any time; there's usually someone around to answer your questions.


7. What programs does ESP run?

ESP is always experimenting with new programs. Right now, we run:

  • Splash!, a weekend-long extravaganza of classes, workshops, and seminars for high school students. Splash! runs each year the weekend before Thanksgiving.
  • Spark, similar to Splash but for middle school students. Spark runs each year in mid-March
  • HSSP, the High School Studies Program. HSSP is a 10-week-long program that can go into greater depth than Splash. It typically runs during the spring, and again during the summer.
  • Junction, a program for students with an independent research project in mind; students come together for two weeks at the end of the summer to share their projects.
  • Cascade, a mini-HSSP-like program for students from specific high schools in the Boston area.

8. How can I be notified about upcoming ESP programs?

A great deal of information is available by browsing this Web site. In order to be added to out mailing list, you can just join our mailing list. You should also create an account for yourself. Once you have done so, you will receive periodic emails with information about upcoming ESP programs.


9. How much do programs cost?

ESP is constantly working to make its programs as cheap as possible. We are a non-profit organization; teachers in most programs are volunteers, and our facilities are provided by MIT at no cost. Thus our enrichment programs (such as Splash and HSSP) cost around $20-$40. If it would cause a financial hardship to pay the fee for any of our programs, simply tell us, and we will happily waive it.


10. How can I help?

The most important thing to us is to spread information about ESP as widely as possible. We also welcome input about how our program is run: please speak to a director at a program or contact us.


11. Can Splash come to my school?

Splash On Wheels is a program that ran several years ago and takes Splash "on the road" to a high school for a weekend. If your school might be interested in hosting our program and is within driving distance of Boston, have a school administrator get in touch with us. This program is not currently running, but given interest we may run it again in the future.


12. Can students younger than middle school age participate?

ESP requires that all student participants be in at least seventh grade. Some programs, such as Splash, require that students be in high school. In addition, we absolutely are unable to accept students younger than eleven years of age (for liability reasons). If you are in doubt about your situation, contact us.

To participate, all students must have their parents sign a liability waiver. Parents should keep in mind the nature of our program, and should keep in mind that we expect a high school level of maturity from our students. Students are unsupervised between classes and during time off and are free to wander the MIT campus. Parents should be comfortable that their children are mature enough for this level of freedom.


13. Does ESP offer tutoring?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: While sometimes our members may privately tutor students, the best way to look for tutors is usually by asking your own high school or middle school counselors. If you are specifically interested in having an MIT student tutoring you, the best place to try is the MIT Student Employment Page; they publish job listings to MIT undergraduate and graduate students. If you are representing a school looking for low-cost or free tutors, the best place to look is the MIT Public Service Center.


14. How do I volunteer to teach?

Just go to the volunteer to teach website.


15. What can I teach?

One thing that sets ESP apart from most other programs is that we put almost no restrictions on what teachers can teach. When we say anything, we mean it: classes can range from particle physics to pottery, from swing dancing to algebraic number theory. Some classes, such as cooking, have been hands-on, while others have built giant geodesic domes. One group of classes put on a play during the weekend of Splash. If you are interested in teaching, all you have to do is tell us what you want to teach, and the class is entirely in your hands to run. Of course, some programs are inherently restricted -- Junction is not focused on teaching.


16. I have registered for a program, but I haven't received any information from you even though it's been some time since registration has closed.

Any information we send via email will be sent to the student email registered when you registered your account; keep in mind that school emails and other mail servers have been known to filter our emails to spam, so be sure to check that. It would also help to whitelist emails from the domain "@esp.mit.edu" so that our emails do not go to spam.



Last modified on Feb. 27, 2017 at 01:26 a.m.