BWSI 2021 FAQ & Dashboard


Welcome students to BWSI 2021!

This page is being replaced by this FAQ!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) re. Beaver Works Summer Institute

Note: BWSI is managed with just a few people, PLEASE make every effort to read or search for your keyword/question on this FAQ and to find the answers prior to emailing staff

We have not yet opened the online course registration for 2021. At this time, we know that we will be providing a program in 2021, we do not know if it will be in-person, virtual or both! The online courses open by Feb 1, and we expect that the July synchronous program will start on July 5, 2021.

Check our website for updated information and how to apply to the 2021 program.

Courses for 2021 (tentative list)

Autonomous Cognitive Assistant (Cog-Works) Mini-RACECAR
Build-a-Cubesat Embedded Security & Hardware Hacking
Remote Sensing for Disaster Response Medlytics
Designing for Assistive Technology Serious Games Development with AI
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (New) Cyber Security (New)
Quantum Computing(New) ?
Question Answer
Which programs are available? 2020 Information pamphlet is here
Where can I get more information? We try to keep our website as up-to-date as possible.
What is the daily schedule? We will be hosting classes from 9am - 5pm EDT, Monday-Friday, July 5-Aug 1. There will be a mix of lectures, labs, and office hours. As we accept students from across the US, some classes may be adjusting hours for different time zones based on their students.
Do you offer programs for middle school? We piloted our first course in 2019 with the Mini-RACECAR course, we may not be able to host a middle school program this year. Here is info on our Middle school program
What other STEM programs are available? MIT has many programs here, Lincoln Laboratory has more listed here and pleased to link to Media Lab’s AI Education site. All are adapting to policy changes based on COVID-19
I’m a freshman/sophomore, can I apply? We encourage interested students to be nominated to access the online course, but as we can only accept a limited number of students, accepted students are generally finishing their junior year (i.e. rising seniors)
What does the program cost? Is there a fee for the program? The program is free for students, we are making every effort to provide materials to support the virtual BWSI but students may have to purchase some supplies to participate.

Enrollment Questions for the MIT BWSI Summer program

Question Answer
My first choice course was canceled- how much progress do I need to do in the new course? Start the new course to demonstrate your interest, get as far as you can by Enrollment due date, we will take progress on your original course into consideration.
What do I need for the enrollment application? What are the enrollment instructions? Here is the 2020 link that provides information on the required fields and information that you will have to provide on the enrollment application.
You ask for 3 choices (1st, 2nd, 3rd) for courses- do I have to do all three? Enrollment is competitive and you may not get your first choice. Upon acceptance into the program, you will be placed into one (1) course and will need to complete the online portion for that course.
When is the teacher recommendation due? Your teacher recommendation due date will be the same as the application due date

Application process for Online course- Summer enrollment is closed but the online course is still available

Question Answer
How do I apply? See our website for information
Have I been nominated for online courses? After nomination, students are sent an email that contains this to be updated
Do I need teacher a recommendation? Yes, a nomination for the online course and a recommendation for the enrollment application. You will need a teacher (or mentor) to nominate you to register for the online course, and you will need a teacher (or mentor) recommendation for the enrollment application.
I did not receive BWSIX (or online course) registration email- why not? Emails are sent to the addresses provided by your teacher, very often our emails are blocked by school network firewalls
I used my gmail/hotmail/icloud address and still did not receive BWSIX (or online course) registration email- why not? Please check your spam or junk mailbox to make sure it wasn’t filtered, See this document for more in-depth answers
I did not receive BWSIX (or online course) registration email after I completed the online form- why not? Did you check the email entered was correct? The automatic response is sent to the email provided on the form, please contact to see if this needs to be corrected.
How can I get BWSI emails at my school? Talk to your school administrator to allow emails from “” through the school firewall
How can I get BWSI emails at non-school email address? Provide a non-school email address to your teacher when you ask them to nominate you for BWSI
Can you change my school email address on the form? Due to our limited resources it may be faster to ask your teacher to resubmit a new nomination form with an email that won’t be blocked
What do I do after I get the BWSIX email? We are updating based on making the program virtual as we are not having an in-person program this year, but this document for more in-depth answers
Can I apply if I’m not a US Citizen? Every student can enroll for online course, but acceptance is limited to US Citizens or students already attending school in the US
Can I apply if I go to school internationally? We can accept US citizens going to school in non-US schools, the process is the same, contact us if your instructors cannot access the required forms.
Can I apply if I am homeschooled/go to alternative school? Yes, the process is the same, (nomination for online, registration for online, enrollment for onsite) contact us if your instructors/mentors cannot access the required forms.

Passwords- for registered students

Question Answer
What’s my password?? 1) The password for formstack course registration (See next question), for see 2) below, for piazza- see 3) below.
1) What’s the password for the formstack online course registration to be updated? Please contact your teacher or mentor that nominated you for BWSI.
2) What’s the password for my BWSIX account on the login page? At first login, simply select the “forgot password” link on this page, and you will be able set it (or reset it) at any time.
3) What’s my password for Piazza? Piazza is self-registration (select sign-up) corrected
How do I get to correct course on Piazza? Go to sign-up, select green Students get started, enter MIT, and select “Massachusetts Institute of Technology”, type “bwsi” in the course field and a course selection list will appear.
Where’s my access code to register for course on Piazza? Access codes are located in introductory module for your course or in course updates (check all updates for Jan 14)

Online Course - for registered students

Question Answer
My first choice course was canceled- how much progress do I need to do in the new course? Start the new course to demonstrate your interest, get as far as you can by April 30, we will take progress on your original course into consideration.
I registered but cannot access/find the correct course? Check you have selected the correct semester (Spring 2020) and the courses for 2021 (not 2020)
Can I just do the online course (and not apply to the summer program) ? Yes, the online course is open to all high school students who are interested. The process for the online course access is the same whether you plan on applying to the summer program or not.
How do I register for the online course? Select the link provided in the course registration email (see this document )
How long does it take to complete? The length of time depends on your experience and skills, as well as the course selected, but encourage applicants to start early as it may take several weekends to complete a course.
I’m having trouble logging into BWSIX, what can I do? See this document for more in-depth answers
How do I pick a course/What courses should I do? After logging in to BWSIX, you will see all the 2021 courses, you should select the one course that interests you most and begin it, other courses, like Python, may be required to qualify for the summer program and it will state that in the course syllabus or description.
Can I take more than 1 online course? You are eligible to work on more than 1 course (courses like RACECAR require it), voluntarily completing additional courses does not improve your chance of acceptance, but can provide interesting learning opportunities.
Since the application asks for your top three choices, would you have to finish at least 50% of your top 3 courses before you apply? No, just your prefered course. Not all students can be accepted into their top preference and this will help make sure promising students can be in a personally interesting course.
How do I register for additional courses? Your login for BWSIX provides access to any of the 2021 courses, and you self-register by selecting the course and starting it (don’t forget that each course has its own piazza forum).
How do I ask questions about course material? We use Piazza as a forum for online course collaboration, you can register for an account on Piazza but course codes are ONLY available through the individual BWSIX course.
How do I register for Piazza? See Piazza under Passwords section Q & A; Check the Introductory module or Course Updates in individual course for links and access code
Piazza says my access code is incorrect- what do I do? EACH course has its own piazza forum, so there are different access codes to each piazza course forum, confirm that you have the correct access code for the appropriate piazza forum
I see the 2020 courses, can I work on them? No, the 2020 courses are closed, and do not count towards the 2021 application
After I register on BWSIX, can I change the email for the account? No, is administered by a different organization and we cannot change email/account settings.
What email is used for correspondence for BWSI? We use the email entered by you, the student, on the student online course registration form as the primary method to send updates and information
Are there certificates available after completing the online course? Yes, Certificates will be available at the end of the course and automatically put in the score of the student when selected.

Nomination process for Online (prerequisites)

Question Answer
I’m a teacher/parent/mentor/coach - how do I nominate a student? Please use this link to nominate, up to 5 students per form and you can submit additional times as well
I don’t have the student password, they are asking me for to register for BWSIX- where is it? The student password was sent to nominators in the teacher information package email from Lisa Kelley, if you need it again, please contact

Middle School Information

Question Answer
When will you offer a middle school course? We will not be running an in-person program this summer, but are working to create new content for a virtual middle school program. (click here)
How can I apply/ or apply for my child? See link above
How can I do this in my school? We can partner with you and your school to provide the course and curriculum content for classes, enrichment or clubs. Please email us (

Last resort!

Email bwsi-admin with your questions if you do not see the answers you need on this page. BWX-help or BWinfo or BWwebmaster will only take longer to get an answer.

Internship Opportunities (and other opportunities after BWSI)

Please see this page for more info.

Our sponsors understand that the best and brightest are coming here for courses and offer internships to selected students attending BWSI for the following summer, BAE Systems, Raytheon Intelligence and Space, and MITRE are planning on offering internships to BWSI alum.

Daily Seminars during July

2020 Seminar Schedule during July: Tues, Wed, Thurs, 12:30-1:30 EDT

There will be new and exciting speakers for 2021!

Name Date Title Organization
Prof. Leslie Kaelbling 7/6/20 Doing for our Robots What Nature did for us MIT CSAIL
Prof. Daniela Rus 7/7/20 Unleashing Your Inner Maker MIT CSAIL
Dr. Jerry Wohletz 7/8/20 Autonomous Intelligence: The AI You Don’t Know BAE
Dr. Francesca Scire-Scapuzzo 7/8/20 One Story- 3 messages: Determination, Flexibilty and Purpose BAE
Prof Amos Winter 7/14/20 Leveraging Technical and Socioeconomic Insights to Create Products for Developing and Global Markets MIT MechE
Chris Peterson 7/15/20 How to apply to MIT (and other colleges) as a Maker MIT Admissions Office
Dr. Eric Evans 7/16/20 MIT Lincoln Laboratory Overview MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Jennifer Benson 7/21/20 LASER Communications Raytheon Intelligence and Space
MG Michael Schmidt 7/21/20 A Personal Perspective from a Major General US Air Force
Dr. Simon Verghese 7/22/20 Self-Driving Cars and Lidar Waymo
Prof Anant Agarwal 7/23/20 A New Normal for Education MIT Open Learning
Prof Natalia Guerrero 7/28/20 Worlds Beyond Our Own: New Exoplanet Discoveries by NASA’s TESS MIT Kavli Institute
Prof Julie Shah 7/29/20 Enhancing Human Capability with Intelligent Machine Teammates MIT AeroAstro

2019 Schedule- You can view recorded seminars here

Name Date Title Organization
Prof. John Hart 7/9/19 Adventures in Additive Manufacturing MIT Mechanical Engineering
Don Kieffer 7/10/19 Dynamic Work Design: Principles, Structures, Methods MIT Sloan School of Management
Jerry Wohletz 7/11/19 Autonomous Intelligence: The AI You Don’t Know BAE Systems
Katie Rae 7/12/19 Inspiring the Next Generation of Tough Tech Founders The Engine
Dr. Jalal Khan 7/15/19 3D Imaging using Photon-counting Laser Radars MIT Lincoln Laboratory
DJ Rock 7/16/19 Applying to Highly Selective Colleges MIT Admissions Office
Prof. Kerry Cahoy 7/17/19 Using Weather Balloons and CubeSats to Learn About Space Exploration MIT
Prof. Hamsa Balakrishnan 7/18/19 Lean, Green, Flying Machines MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics
Prof. Neil Gershenfeld 7/19/19 How to Make (almost) Anything MIT
Prof. Sanjay Sarma 7/22/19 How We Learn MIT
Dr. Eric Evans 7/23/19 MIT Lincoln Laboratory Overview MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Prof. Cynthia Breazeal 7/24/19 Toward Human-Friendly AI MIT
Joonhee Won 7/25/19 The Future of Learning: Changing Pardigm of School KAIT
Prof. Evelyn Wang 7/26/19 Nanoengineered Materials for Advanced Energy and Water Technologies MIT
Prof. Fikile Brushett 7/29/19 Building an Electrochemical Future: Innovators Needed! MIT
Natalia Guerrero 7/30/19 Worlds Beyond Our Own: New Exoplanet Discoveries by NASA’s TESS MIT
Dr. Mark Russell 7/31/19 The Future, Arriving Today: Advanced Technology, Cyber and Machine Learning Raytheon
Keith Lynn 8/1/19 Artificial Intelligence: AI in Every Domain Lockheed Martin

Program Links

Name Link
BWSI YouTube Channel Click Here
BWSI 2020 Brochure Click Here
BWSI’19 Program Brochure Click Here
BWSI’19 Final Event Brochure Click Here