Propose a K-12 Project

All WPI undergraduate students are required to complete an Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) prior to graduation. These projects relate science and technology to society or human needs and provide a great opportunity to work with a school system. For these projects, students work in small, interdisciplinary teams with both a faculty advisor and liaison from an outside sponsor organization.

Sample K-12 Projects

We’re open to your project proposal ideas. Here are examples of projects completed in the past:

  • Development and testing of a set of classroom activities to reinforce a particular concept
  • Analysis of data

The Student Team

Student teams are typically comprised of 2-4 junior-year students of varied disciplines. Projects selected by students in February will begin the following September. The teams work on projects from September 1st through March 10th (possibly extending into April). Students complete this project in conjunction with other coursework, and sponsors can expect a time commitment of approximately 15 hours per week from the team.

Role of the Sponsor

The sponsor responsibilities include proposing the project idea to WPI, providing a project liaison who will advise and work directly with the IQP team during the duration of the project, and if necessary, picking up project costs (varies depending on the project). The project liaison needs to be very involved with the project and should be willing to dedicate a minimum of 2-3 hours per week to attend project meetings and correspond with the student team.

Role of the Faculty Advisor

The IQP team faculty advisors work closely with the teams to ensure that satisfactory progress is being made during the project and to assess and grade the final project outcome.

Submitting a K-12 Project Proposal

If you are interested in sponsoring a K-12 IQP, you must submit a project proposal to Martha Cyr, Director of K12 Outreach. The proposal should include a 1-2 paragraph project statement that clearly states the objective(s) for the project. In the proposal, you also need to identify a project liaison from your organization who will work with the student team for the duration of the project. Project proposals must be submitted by December 1st in order to be considered for the following September. WPI cannot guarantee that your project proposal will be selected by a faculty advisor and/or a project team.

Step-by-Step Project Timeline

  1. Choose your project liaison and submit your Project Proposal by December 1st to WPI via Martha Cyr
  2. If the proposed project is in line with the educational objectives of WPI and is of appropriate scope for an IQP, the proposal is forwarded to appropriate academic departments.
  3. If the proposed project falls within the interest of an individual faculty member, he/she may choose to advise the project.
  4. The project is listed on the WPI site by mid-January for students to view.
  5. Students who select their projects in February will start the projects at the beginning of the following academic year (late August).
  6. Students work with advisors and liaisons from late August to early March to complete the project. In some cases, the project may continue into April.
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