Frontiers II

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In Frontiers Session II, offers students the opportunity to participate in Robotics, Cybersecurity, Engineering Exploration, Exploring our World with Engineering Software, Introduction to Actuarial Mathematics, or the Women's Leadership Academy. To complement the academic program, each student will also enroll in a humanities and arts workshop, such as writing, psychology, philosophy, cinematic storytelling, global sustainability, and theatre.

Frontiers session II will be held in July 19-31, 2015. Learn more about the academic programs and humanities and arts workshops, or learn about application requirements and details for the Frontiers program. Session II participants may also participate in Session I. 

STEM Workshops


In this program you will immerse yourself in robotics engineering and discovering the science and technology behind robot design and operations. You'll learn sensor operations, programming, pneumatics, and manufacturing techniques and use this information to solve a challenging robotics problem. Each subgroup in the session will brainstorm, design, build, and test its own creation. During the week you'll spend time outside of the lab exploring important business aspects of robotics including marketing, entrepreneurship, management, and teamwork skills. The chance to show your team's design superiority will come when robots meet for the climactic end-of-session tournament! This session is particularly useful in preparing participants for entry or leadership within their high school's robotics team.

GenCyber Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is at the forefront of contemporary issues for computer systems. WPI is pleased to offer this new workshop option in Frontiers II. Working with WPI faculty, participants in this workshop will have the opportunity for significant hands on experiences with topics such as Web-App security, network security, forensics, system security, cryptography and privacy. Participants will use appropriate tools and may include programming for analysis of data.

Potential full tuition scholarships will be available for this program as this program is supported by NSA and NSF. Due to this funding, selection for the Cybersecurity workshop will not be made on a rolling basis as is the case with other workshops. Applicants will be selected from the pool of applicants who apply on or before March 27, 2015. If application fee is an impediment to applying for the Cybersecurity program, please contact the Frontiers staff at for an application fee waiver.

Engineering Exploration

Students will explore engineering careers and learn about the various engineering disciplines such as-- architectural, electrical/computer, mechanical, industrial, biomedical** through hands-on activities and projects.  This Frontiers track will emphasize the role of engineers as creative problem solvers making a difference in society. Participants will also learn how best to prepare in high school to major in engineering in college. ** Engineering disciplines shown are based on faculty and staff availability and are subject to change. Currently planned tracks are as follows: Track I-Mechanical Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering.  Track II- Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Industrial Engineering. 

Exploring our World with Engineering Software

Discover the artistry of technical computing. Using powerful software tools including MATLAB, MathCAD and LabVIEW, you will gain experience with programming and data analysis through a variety of exercises including the physics of the Angry Birds, modeling the geometry of nature, and monitoring the heart rate and blood pressure.You will be exposed to the artistry of technical computing by exploring concepts such as RGB color model, fractals, randomness and self-organization, cellular automata (Game of Life), networks and six degrees of separation. No previous programming experience is required.

Introduction to Actuarial Mathematics 

This workshop is designed to give participants an intense, immersive experience in actuarial mathematics topics. The session will also cover such topics as professional ethics, networking, and guidance on internships and careers. In addition, you will have the opportunity hear from professionals in the field as guest speakers share their experiences in actuarial work at various corporations. Finally, there will be some time for healthy competition as teams compete in team problem solving exercises.

Women's Leadership Academy: Setting Your Future Direction

This is a catalyst to train and prepare young women to set goals for studies and a career in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/ or management. In this program, you will discover your dreams and destiny for college plans through goal setting and exploring career paths in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or management; understand your individual strengths, interests, and beliefs and how they create a foundation for your future job skills; develop your personal compass based on the habits of successful people and how a positive belief system has the power to create opportunities; learn financial literacy, time management skills, communication skills, and ways to find scholarship opportunities; and scope out your short-term goals, long-term goals and your life vision of success. Through classroom-based enrichment activities, you will learn how to plan and lead yourself with your next steps for college. Panel discussions with current WPI students and WPI alumni and staff will offer you the opportunities to explore what others have learned as they created their future direction. This is a great option for women who would like to attend both Frontiers I and II.

Humanities and Arts Workshops

Cinematic Storytelling

The course explores the dramatic principles of storytelling, how to translate story ideas into screenplay format, and how the screenplay is used as a basis for shooting a film. The class will develop a short story idea together, following dramatic principles and using an underlying theme as a guide to the story development process. The class will then learn how to convert the screenplay into storyboards and a shot list, conveying the important ideas through cinematic images and compelling dialog.

Digital Painting

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn the art of digital imaging using state of the art software and computer technology. Techniques covered will include photo manipulation, digital painting and illustration.

Elements of Writing

Investigate what happens when an author chooses certain vocabulary, sentence structure, and overall organization. This approach will help you improve the expository writing you will have to do in college. You will also be given an opportunity to write college application essays in which you may reveal your individuality. You are encouraged to bring with you topics that appear on admission forms for colleges where you intend to apply

Creative Writing

Conduct a series of experiments with words, imagination, and ideas: fiction or nonfiction prose, poetry, or playscript. What you create will depend on your group members, the Frontiers experience, and what you've been writing along the way.

Magic, Philosophy and Knowing

From Moses parting the Red Sea and Hermione Granger casting spells with her wand, magical myth has always fascinated us, and it still does. Every human culture we are aware of has practiced what we would call magic. But what is magic, and what does our continuing interest in magic tell us about belief, skepticism, and the relationship between faith and science? Does our interest in magic today reveal our longing for a bygone world in which we humans were yet not estranged from nature, from other beings? Does the fact that our senses and minds can be so easily fooled by a magician performing on stage tell us anything important about the problem of knowledge? We will explore the sometimes fine line between reality and illusion, rational belief and magical faith, through shared readings in epistemology and metaphysics--and live magic performed in the classroom.


Psychological science is the experimental study of human thought and behavior in order to understand why people do what they do. The goal of this Frontiers experience is to provide insight into psychological science and also its application to the real world, other sciences, and engineering. To do so, this course will offer a broad introduction to different topics in psychological science, such as the brain, development, sensations and perceptions, thinking, learning, memory, psychological disorders, and our social environment. Students in this course will learn about these different topics, participate in hands-on activities, and conduct research projects.

Global Sustainability

Are you ready to learn about global problems and new ways to produce clean water, renewable energy, sustainable agricultural, and protect biodiversity? In this class we will investigate the most pressing sustainability challenges facing society and search for possible solutions.
The concept of sustainability is often discussed but rarely fully understood. How many definitions are there and how do we determine what actions are truly sustainable? This program will explore the concept of sustainability and the role of appropriate technology in creating more sustainable communities. The class culminates in a project where you will identify a specific problem - like water pollution, non-renewable energy, or inefficient buildings - and design a technological or social solution.


Produce a show from soup to nuts in less than two weeks. Set the stage, play the role, dress the part, hang the lights, record the sound, and more. Explore a wide variety of theatrical exercises and techniques, including warm-ups, expressive movement exercises, collective improvisation, and interpretive reading. Put theory into practice by making an audience laugh, cry, and maybe even think. On stage or back stage, there is a role for all.

Frontiers session II will run July 19-31, 2015

Session II participants may also participate in Session I.

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