This past summer, one of Ontario’s top students in the senior class, Vivian Phun, applied and was accepted to the Engineering Experience at MIT (also known as E2), a week long, all expense paid program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most elite engineering schools in the country. The only cost that she had to cover was the plane ticket, which was mainly covered by our generous former principal, Mr. Wilborn.
According to Vivian, applying to E2 was a very intensive process as only 100 people are admitted into the program. In the application there were five different essays that they had to do, all of which were challenges for her. Although, because of her experiences for applying to Scripps College Academy, she knew the rigorousness of the application process. As a result, she said that it was definitely worth it because she was able to experience things she would not have gotten anywhere else.
At the E2 program, Vivian stated that her first day there was very welcoming and friendly. She felt a different atmosphere than what she was used to with different groups of people from all over the world coming for the same purpose. She also mentions that it was also a challenge, as it was more rigorous than what she was used to in high school, but she willingly accepted the challenge and is glad she did. Some of the activities she did at the program included creating a robot with PVC pipes, learning how to use real world applications, and solving problems.
She states that the whole experience was an accurate representation of what college will be like. She lived in dorms and went to classes, where she was able to get a gist of how her experience would be if she were to attend MIT.
One thing that she really enjoyed was the friends she made and the close bonds she had with them. Every individual she met was special and unique. She states that they all felt that they were in a group going towards the same purpose. She recalled that there would be times in her robot building where she and her group would randomly dance while they built robots.
When the program came to an end, she felt sad about leaving, because it was one of the greatest experiences she’s had. Although, after attending the program she says “I took the challenge and that I’m glad I did. I learned so much critically and it strongly reinforced by decision to go into STEM”