THINK Scholars Program

The THINK Scholars Program is an educational outreach initiative that promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by supporting and funding projects developed by high school students. The program is run by a team of undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and sponsored by technology companies and educational organizations. The mission of the MIT THINK Scholars Program is to make science and technology research and development accessible to motivated high school students. Finalists & winners will receive $1000 and scholarship money ($500 for Grand Prize Winner, $300 for Second Place, $200 for Third Place).

THINK stands for Technology for Humanity guided by Innovation, Networking, and Knowledge. The vision of THINK is to make science and technology research and development accessible to all motivated high school students.


  • You must be a full-time high school student attending a public, private, or home school at the time of your application.
  • You must be a U.S. resident during the 2016–2017 school year.
  • One submission per applicant
  • One or two students per project

How to Apply:

The candidates must register a new account to be applying for THINK Scholars Program. Login link is:

Proposal Guidelines:

Make sure all components listed below are addressed and clearly presented in your PDF submission.

  • Project Title:
  1. Name: your name(s), school
  2. Mentor(optional): name, email address, affiliation (company, organization, school, university)
  • Abstract: Write an accurate, interesting, and concise abstract for your project in up to 250 words. In paragraph form, please describe the following aspects of your project:
  1. Motivation: What is the need or problem you are trying to solve?
  2. Goals: What are the desired outcomes of your project?
  3. Approach: How do you plan to implement your project idea?
  • Idea:
  1. Problem: Clearly identify the need or problem that you are trying to solve. Then explain any relevant background information, including scientific theory and existing technologies.
  2. Current Work: Identify the current state-of-the-art approaches/solutions, and why they are insufficient.
  3. Solution: Describe your proposed solution and how it will address the need or problem. Compare your idea to existing solutions and show us why this solution is technically feasible.
  • Plan:
  1. Approach: Explain the steps for how you will implement your project idea. Convince us that your project is feasible. Show calculations and be sure to include diagrams if necessary.
  2. Resources: Specify the resources you will need during the whole process. How will you acquire these resources? Are you planning to work with a local mentor?
  3. Goals: Establish milestones and completion criteria for your project. How will you test and evaluate your implementation? What are its performance specifications, if applicable?  If you are working in a two-member team, discuss how you plan to divide the work and responsibilities and how you will facilitate collaboration.
  4. Risks: Identify three issues you might encounter during implementation. How will you mitigate these risks? Propose some alternative solutions.
  5. Timeline: Identify key deliverables and deadlines. How will you document the implementation process between these milestones?
  6. Current Progress and Need for Funding: Describe any previous work you have done on this topic. How will the funding from the THINK program allow you to achieve your proposed goals?
  7. Projected Budget: Table with columns: Item, Amount, Cost, etc. Include links to exact costs if you can find them. If you are unable to find exact costs, please estimate to the best of your ability.
  • Personal:
  1. Interest: Write about your background and personal interest in this project.
  2. Qualifications: Describe the skills you have and skills you need to learn to complete this project.
  •  References: Cite all sources consulted using the APA format. Include both in-text citations and a Works Cited page at the end of the paper. The Works Cited page(s) will not count as part of the page limit for the proposal.

Financial Aid and Award Money:

  • Finalists receive:
  1. All expenses paid trip to MIT to attend XFair (MIT’s spring tech symposium)
  2. Personalized tours of MIT laboratories
  3. Networking opportunities with MIT professors and XFair companies
  4. Up to $1000 to build their projects
  5. Project mentorship from MIT students
  • Winners receive:
  1. Scholarship money ($500 for Grand Prize Winner, $300 for Second Place, $200 for Third Place)
  2. Additional project mentorship from MIT students
  3. They will also select several Honorable Mentions to recognize outstanding proposals submitted to the program that was not selected as finalists.

Application Deadline:

The application will close on January 1, 2017.

Link for More Information:

Contact Information:

If you have questions, send them to

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