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Latest Announcements
Spring HSSP will be every Saturday March 2 - April 6 (except 3/16). Registration for HSSP has now closed.
Spark will be March 16 & 17th! Register for Spark now!

Educational Studies Program: Who we are

The Educational Studies Program (ESP) runs several educational programs designed to instill a love of learning.

Programs consist of classes taught by volunteers, most of whom are MIT undergraduates juggling a full course load as well as other extracurriculars. Teachers decide themselves what they'll teach, so our class topics go beyond what is usually taught in school. While some classes are very challenging academically, others involve fun activities like arts and crafts, and still others are very silly or have a nerdy twist.

ESP is an officially recognized student group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ESP's programs — the largest of which serve nearly 2,000 students per year — are almost entirely run by MIT undergraduate volunteers who donate their spare time and effort to make our programs happen. ESP is not affiliated with any MIT department or with the MIT Admissions Office. We all contribute to ESP because of our love of teaching and learning — and our desire to provide exciting and interesting opportunities for our students to pursue their interests, whatever they may be. Learn more about our admin team!

Two admins smiling into the camera
Middle schoolers and a teacher doing arts and crafts

Enroll in an ESP program

ESP offers programs for students in grades 7 through 12. All students must be at least eleven years old to participate. Registration takes place online one to two months before the program. To join ESP's announcements mailing list, please make an account on this website. The main email address associated with each account will receive an email when registration for a program opens. Those who are interested in what ESP has to offer but can't make the trip to Cambridge might be interested in Learning Unlimited. Inspired by MIT ESP, Learning Unlimited has helped start several similar programs across the country.

ESP's programs

We run several programs annually. Generous financial aid is available for all programs.

Program Time of Year Grades Description
Splash Weekend before Thanksgiving.
(Saturday – Sunday)
9–12 Large program on MIT's campus. Students take a series of classes. Each class meets once.
Spark Weekend in March.
(Saturday – Sunday)


Large program on MIT's campus. Students take a series of classes. Each class meets once.
HSSP Spring and Summer versions. (Weekends) 7–12 Long term program where students take a few classes for 5–8 weekends.
Cascade Fall. (Weekends) 9–12 Small program open to students from partner schools.

Donate to MIT ESP

Donations help MIT ESP expand the joy of learning to thousands of students each year. We charge only a nominal $50-$70 fee to attend our programs, and offer generous financial aid to those who can't afford it. Your support helps us keep fees low and fund financial aid for other students. Donate here!

Student Testimonials

From learning how to conjugate verbs in Russian to putting together a circuit on a breadbox, HSSP introduced me to so many new fields, some of which I had never been interested in before (the Irish diaspora), but which grew to fascinate me.

An HSSP class where the teacher is wearing a costume

Spark 2021 was a life-changing experience for me, not just because I learned about plasma, CAD, and programming, but also because it showed me that there are so many options and areas I could go into. Under the conditions of the pandemic, Spark was conducted flawlessly and was exceptional. I am extremely thrilled to attend Splash next year and learn more important or random things.

Each and every class was unique and the topics were quite intriguing! I think what makes all of these classes really good are the teachers. They were so friendly and kind... Within a short period I was able to learn so much.

Admins and volunteers help create liquid nitrogen ice cream

I have learned so much in my three years as a student, how to write effective plot twists, how to create my own language, how to sew a plushie, the mysterious world of astrobiology, and so much more, and each year when I have returned to MIT for Splash it has felt like returning to a mystical place that left too soon, but was just as real and magical nonetheless. Next year will be my last year as a student, the end of the four years I dreamed of for so long as a kid. But as sad as I am that the chapter I wanted for so long is ending, a new chapter will begin—I am going to be able to join the teachers again. And honestly… I can’t wait.

Each 50 minute period was packed with information, but the instructors made it accessible and as easy to understand as possible. I would finish class eager to review and learn more. Despite the challenges of virtual learning, I had a great time at HSSP and I wish I had discovered it sooner!

Two teachers standing in front of a chalkboard

Last modified on Feb. 27, 2024 at 02:50 a.m.