MIT STEP Lab Presents

Preparing High School Students for Endeavors in Machine Learning (SRMPmachine)

MIT STEP Lab partners with American Museum of Natural History to offer AI education to underserved youth in NYC.


American Museum of Natural History’s Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) has provided New York City high school students from underserved populations with the experience of working closely with scientists to increase access to scientific fields and careers through research opportunities and mentorship. 

In partnership with MIT, SRMPmachine will undertake a three-year research project to create opportunities for high school students to learn and apply machine learning (ML), a subset of AI, to scientific problems in the natural sciences. This project is funded by NSF ITEST (Award #2049022). 

In SRMPmachine, 120 students will participate in a four-week Summer Institute specifically focused on developing skills and understanding of ML applications and careers, and 30 of these students will subsequently work in research labs over the academic year with scientists who use ML.

A design-based research approach will be used to develop and refine the Summer Institute informed by a team consisting of science educators, scientists, AI experts, and program alumni. A mixed-method research will study students’ acquisition of ML knowledge and skills, attitudes toward and perceptions of AI, and AI career awareness and interests.


Project Specifics


High School Students

Content Area

Artificial Intelligence education

Project Contact

Irene Lee