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Launch (in-person)

We are excited to share our interactive experience, Launch. Each session is taught by WPI faculty with hands-on projects for students to explore. If you’re looking for summer programs for rising 9th graders and sophomores, be sure to explore Launch.

Audience: ​Students Entering Grades 9 & 10
Registration: Register Today!

Session I: June 26 - July 1, 2022 (residential)
Session II: August 8 - 12, 2022 (commuter)


Launch Programs

  • Aerospace Engineering (Launch I & II)

    By covering basic concepts in aerodynamics, the Aerospace Engineering program explores the science of flight. Topics such as drag, streamlining, airfoil stall and aircraft design will be studied. Participants learn how wings and aircraft create lift to fly. Wind- and water-tunnel experiments are conducted to visualize the airflow over aircraft, and computer simulations are run for different airfoil shapes. Participants will design and build a simple model aircraft using what they have learned.

  • Biology: Changing the Living World (Launch I & II)

    Discover what’s really going on inside ourselves and the ground we walk on! Through experiments and discussions, you will learn to change the living world through biotechnology. Become part of an ever-growing community from around the world, by contributing to scientific discovery and learning your responsibilities of global citizenship!

  • Chemistry & Biochemistry (Launch I)

    Explore the world from the point of view of atoms to learn how we covert energy from sunlight, store energy in chemical bonds, and release energy back into the wild.  You will think about how we use chemistry every day, learn how material properties impact our lives, and control atoms and bonds to make new materials with new properties that have yet to be discovered!

  • Computer Science: Innovative Applications (Launch I & II)

    You will explore the use of technology to identify and solve problems in our community. Blending entrepreneurial and computer science concepts, your WPI professor will guide you through a rapid development life cycle from launch to pitch. You will participate in teamwork through various activities to develop a web-based application using a programming language, explore design and programming approaches, and share your ideas with the group. Topics/languages covered include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and networking.

  • Crime Scene Chemistry (Launch I & II)

    Use principles of chemistry to solve the mysteries of the world AND an ongoing crime!  You will learn some fundamental principles of chemistry, and then apply those principles in a combination of virtual labs and hands-on activities to test evidence taken from our Who-Dunn-It Crime Scene. You will use your findings from the labs to question witnesses, interrogate suspects and identify the guilty party.

  • Cybersecurity: World-Wide Phenomena (Launch II)

    Cyberattacks, from individuals to government agencies - the threat is real! In a world that is increasingly dependent on computer systems, the need for cybersecurity professionals is growing exponentially. Learn through hands-on experiences with topics such as Web-App security, network security, forensics, system security, cryptography, and privacy.

  • Data Science (Launch II)

    Do you love solving puzzles? Do you have a curious mind? Data scientists are detectives who use computer science and mathematics to solve mysteries. Whether it is marketing, healthcare, or the way that sports are played, data science is the key to making better decisions.

    You will learn about data collection, statistical analysis, and data visualization techniques using the state-of-the-art software tool, Tableau. We will work through some hands-on activities to gain technical knowledge, as well as to learn presentation skills, in a storytelling manner, to deliver significant findings.

  • Digital Imaging and Computer Arts (Launch I)

    Turn your photos into art! This workshop focuses on the techniques for creating, manipulating, and animating images through digital means. You will develop an understanding of image alteration, designing vector arts, and timeline animation using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects.

  • Electrical and Computer Engineering (Launch II)

    Computer networks allow us to communicate with people around the world and are important parts of our everyday lives. However, these networks are also threatened by hackers who try to steal sensitive information or take networks offline. This course will give an introduction to networking and network security, including cryptography and principles of networks. Through labs and experiments, you will learn the basics of making - and breaking - codes, as well as how Internet communication works and how you can read wireless network traffic from right out of the air. Topics include: Cryptography, basic codes and ciphers, visualizing networks, Internet protocol stack.

  • Explore the World with MATLAB (Launch I)

    Millions of engineers and scientists use MATLAB to send a satellite into space, drive a robot, process medical image, and more! You can start building this skill NOW. You will gain experience with MATLAB programming by creating graphics to understand data, modeling the geometry of nature, and developing the game of life more easily. We will explore concepts such as RGB color model, fractals, randomness and self-organization, networks and six degrees of separation. No prior programming experience is assumed.

  • Interactive Media & Game Development (Launch I & II)

    From art to engine!  This intense week of fun and learning will teach students how to create a character model, set it up for animation and import it into the Unreal game engine. Students will work in industry standard tools, modeling in Zbrush, animating in Maya and finally lighting and rendering in unreal. Students will be provided with completed assignments if they can’t reach their vision in time. But a special focus is placed on teaching them where to go when the class is over to continue their favorite part of the process.

  • Materials & Manufacturing Engineering: Backbone of the Circular Economy (Launch I)

    Be challenged to save the world! A central part of the solution to address the challenge of climate change lies in the circular economy, a regenerative system that allows for long life, optimal reuse, refurbishment, re-manufacturing and recycling of resources.

    Through discussions and hands-on activities, you will learn about how materials and manufacturing engineering are shaping the circular economy. You will explore the life cycles of different materials and contribute your creativity to re-manufacturing and recycling them.

  • Neuroscience (Launch I & II)

    The brain is our most complex organ and directs our physiology and behavior. Neuroscience research on how the brain works is crucial to advancements in a range of topics, including psychiatry (depression, anxiety), cognition, social behavior, neurological disorders (Alzheimer’s, epilepsy), as well as the effects of covid on the brain. You will learn about the basic structure and function of the brain and how researchers study the brains of various animals. We will explore the processes crucial to how the brain works and what happens to these processes in both health and various disease states. Expert speakers will present how they use state of the art molecular genetic, data analytics, biochemical, and neuroimaging techniques to investigate the brain and its impact on our daily lives. You will leave with a valuable introduction to the mysteries of the brain which may provide a launch pad for an eventual career in neuroscience.

  • Physics (Launch I)

    How do airplanes fly? How do batteries work? Why is laser light different from room light? We need to study physics to answer these questions. Physics is the science of matter, energy, motion, and force. You will investigate the world of modern physics through hands-on activities and simulations, interactive lectures, and audio-visual presentations. You will explore the fundamental concepts of Newtonian and Einsteinian physics including the rocket dynamics, and the physics of the quantum world. You will also virtually tour national labs and develop skills of working in teams with your peers. 

  • Robotics Engineering (Launch I & II)

    Discover the interdisciplinary nature of robotic design and operations. Explore concepts of mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as computer science. Through several projects, you will learn about the use of motors, servos, mechanisms, sensors, and programming in robotics. The C programming language will be used for an introduction to the type of programming used today on systems with embedded computers, like self-driving vehicles and drones. 

  • STEM Exploration (Launch I & II)

    Have a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but not sure which area to focus in? This is the session for you! You will explore three disciplines, emphasizing the role of scientists/engineers as creative problem solvers, making a difference in society. You will explore computer science, chemistry, and an engineering discipline.

WPI reserves the right to cancel any session, in which case students could be reassigned to a different session or provided a refund.