Summerfuel 2021 >> Coming Soon
Mit design lab - session 1

At our MIT Summer Program, grow your spirit of innovation and dive into hands-on studios focused on design, engineering, science, technology, art and more!

One: July 5 - July 18, 2020
Two: July 19 - August 1, 2020
Both: July 5 - August 1, 2020
Program Fee:
One Session $5,695
Both Sessions $10,095
Campus Dormitory
Ages 14 - 17
Program Fee includes:
Tuition, room, 3 meals per day, use of select campus facilities, included excursions and daily activities, bed linens, pillow and towels, 24-hour residential care and support, staff accompanied airport transfer during specified windows.
Not Included:
Airfare/transportation to and from home city, courses and activities shown to have an extra fee, laundry, spending money, souvenirs, meals eaten away from program, airport transfers outside of specified windows, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, medical and dental expenses.
In a one-of-a-kind collaboration with NuVu, Summerfuel is proud to offer this two-week, hands-on innovation program for high school students, held at the prestigious MIT Design Studio. NuVu is a full-time innovation school for middle and high school students, where students explore real-world topics, both locally and globally, and create new views of the world. Fueled by creativity, students in this exciting science and technology program learn to use design skills to address large-scale problems and create impactful solutions.

Under the guidance of NuVu design coaches and experts, our students learn how to use the design process to solve complex challenges using creativity, critical thinking and collaboration to form an energized generation of entrepreneurs, designers, makers and inventors.

Want more information on MIT ?


DAY 1 • Welcome to Boston
DAY 2 • Studio work @ MIT Design Studios
DAY 3 • Brainstorming & Team Building
DAY 4 • Software/Technology Introduction
DAY 5 • Team Design Phase
DAY 6 • Mid-Review with Coaches
DAY 7 • ArtBeat Festival - Davis Square
DAY 8 •   Explore Boston
DAY 9 •   Rebuild, redesign, refine projects
DAY 10 • Desk-Crits with design experts
DAY 11 • Finalize Design Solutions
DAY 12 • Presentation Preparation
DAY 13 • Final Presentations & Critiques
DAY 14 • Goodbye Team!


  8 AM – Breakfast
  9 AM – Design Studio
12 PM – Lunch
 1 PM – Design Studio
 4 PM - Activities / Free time
 6 PM – Dinner
 7:30 PM – Evening Events
 11 PM – Floor Meetings




Students will live on the campus of Tufts University, a short ride from the MIT summer program.  Each morning and afternoon Summerfuel staff will accompany students to and from class.  Housing at Tufts will be in Harleston Hall.  Double bedrooms are outfitted with window units for air-conditioning and furnished with extra-long twin beds, desks, chairs, and a built-in closet. Rooms are on a common hall, and halls are divided by gender and age. Roommates are determined based on the housing questionnaire that students fill out prior to arrival. Full bedding and bath towels are provided and replaced weekly. Wi-Fi is available throughout campus. 

University Facilities

Students have full access to libraries, computer lab, student center, and the Fitness Center, featuring racquet courts, a swimming pool, and cardio and weight-training equipment. Nearby basketball, sand volleyball and tennis courts are open for use as well.


Breakfast and dinner are taken on campus.  A wide variety of menu choices are available including vegetarian and vegan options and an organic salad bar.  We are also able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Lunches will be provided off-site during class days and any meals during excursions will be provided off campus. Please advise Summerfuel of dietary needs during the application process.



The Farmer’s Market

Every Wednesday, Davis Square plays host to the most varied and well-attended farmer’s market around. It’s a great spot to grab a fresh snack in between classes.

Johnny D’s

This jazz club in Davis Square is a legend, attracting both popular and up-and-coming acts, and offers great New Orleans grub to boot.

Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market

Historic buildings, myriad food choices, and world-class street performances make this a delicious destination.

Newbury Street

This bustling street is packed with a wide range of mall favorites, specialty boutiques, and designer outposts.

North End

Pasta and pastries rule the streets of this historic Italian neighborhood.

Boston Museums

Wander through the Museum of Fine Arts that boasts an impressive world-class collection; The Museum of Science that hosts a variety of interactive exhibits for curious minds; or, the New England Aquarium, home to hundreds of species of marine life.


NuVu is a year round innovation school based in Cambridge. At NuVu, derived from “New View,” students explore real-world topics and create new views of the world. NuVu students learn how to use the design process to solve complex challenges using creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.

Summerfuel is delighted to partner with NuVu to bring this exciting, dynamic summer opportunity to our students.  Summerfuel students joining us will work with NuVu faculty - design coaches and experts - at the MIT Design Studio Monday through Friday, 9am - 3pm.

NuVu Studio Processes

In each studio, students will be pushed out of their comfort zone, expanding their creative limits to come up with innovative solutions. They will use digital fabrication tools (3D printers, laser cutter, CNC milling machines) to design interactive clothing, programming to build mechanical home assistant helpers, engineering tiny medical robots, and inventing soft prosthetics for rehabilitation. In a period of two weeks, students will go through the full design process: researching, conceptualizing, innovating, designing, and making. Working in small collaborative teams under the guidance of our expert Coaches who are professionals and academics at MIT, Harvard and other top universities, students will develop essential social, problem-solving, communication and technology skills. The studios are inspired by cutting-edge research and inventions from MIT as well as the vibrant technology and design industries.


Each studio is overseen by a NuVu Coach who offers support to students as appropriate to the studio problem. Carefully screened NuVu Coaches come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring a diversity of expertise. Coaches include PhD students at MIT and Harvard, entrepreneurs who are building their own companies, artists who are doing groundbreaking work, and professionals developing innovative products in various fields. In addition, NuVu Coaches work closely with educators and experts in curriculum and assessment design to ensure the maximum educational impact of each program.



Soft Robotics

Imagine robots that look more like caterpillars and sponges rather than the giant robotic arms that you see on factory floors.  This is the world of soft robotics, and it’s changing the impact of robotics in industry. Highly flexible, lightweight systems can accomplish tasks and missions that would be unimaginable by their rigid counterparts. In studio, we will use innovative textiles, materials and technologies to design soft tech products that will improve lives. Students will design, build and program products from the ground up, testing them, and analyzing performance. Students will learn the basics of electronics, microcontrollers and computer programming. They will learn how to integrate external sensors (from simple switches and buttons to heat/temperature, light, gas, touch) and actuators (such as motors, lights, speakers, solenoids, valves, fans) into their designs to create responsive products. Skillwork also includes engineering, 3D modeling, robotics, and programming.

Virtual Reality Worlds

Are you obsessed with Science Fiction movies set in intergalactic worlds or underwater depths? Do you dream of what the future could look like with no cars, climate change reversal or equal access to resources by all living creatures? Are you also interested in Virtual Reality?  In this studio, if you can imagine a very different future, you can create it. Imagine creating a VR game where you fly through the Universe on your personally designed hoverboard, or you sketch you and your partners' Avatars on the fly in a Virtual game. In this studio, you will imagine a near-future world and using the power of VR you will be able to create a full simulation of this world. You will learn the basics of Virtual Reality through the multimedia creation tool Unity3D. You will create imaginary projects using sketching, physical modeling, and representation to dream up future worlds along with 3D modeling to represent ideas.

Living Architecture

Architecture forms the fabric of our cities with buildings that not only provide protected spaces to live, work and learn but also create the urban character. Beyond the advent of steel structures, architecture hasn’t changed very much in the last few hundred years: most buildings have concrete or stone foundations, solid structures made out of wood, steel, or reinforced concrete, glass windows that either open or are sealed shut, and floors that hold people and equipment. But there are two huge issues: the construction industry produces a large percentage of CO2 emissions worldwide and demolition waste takes up large portions of landfills. What would it look like to radically rethink these materials and architecture itself?

In this studio, students will work with experts in living and responsive architecture and visit labs at MIT that are actively working on materials research. Students will propose ways we can create architectural elements that are adaptable and sustainable. We will research designers such as Philip Beesley, who creates ‘living’ sculptures that breath and undulate in response to the environment and the Prairie House in Illinois that uses color changing cladding technology that darkens and lightens in response to outside temperature. This studio will explore what it means for a structure to be alive, to have sensory inputs and actuated outputs.

Fashion Tech

What do you see when you imagine the fashion of the future? Given advancements in material science and technology, how can we reimagine the runway of 2050?  Last year’s trendy brands focused on the sustainability of clothing. Brands like Nike and Fjallraven are just beginning to scratch the surface of mission and environmental focus. Zero waste designers like Tonlé, who produce garments from offcuts and remnants, gained in popularity. 

In 30 years, can brands create speculative looks that don’t just stand for good, they actively address the issues we care about? Imagine not having a seasonal wardrobe but having a wardrobe that adapts to the seasons. What if Iris Van Herpen’s dresses clarified the air around us? Or Off White’s hem picked up trash as we swept down the sidewalk? Or Janelle Monae’s blinking lashes from the Met Gala kept an eye out for antisocial behavior? In this studio, students will research an environmental or social issue they care about, and turn it into fashion that actively participates in solving or assisting that issue.


Animated Storytelling

Ever had an idea for a short film? Do you love drawing and animation? Do you find yourself daydreaming about the future of our world? Movies like Fantastic Planet, Escape from Planet Earth and The Iron Giant made a huge mark on the film industry. With their compelling 2D worlds, animated characters, brilliant screenplays, and magnetic visual effects, people became enthralled in the worlds that were created and the stories that were being told. After watching such animated films, have you ever wondered how they came up with the story or created those awe-inspiring effects? This two-week studio will introduce you to the art of visual effects, world creation, digital motion graphics, and storytelling, so that you can create your very own short animated film. This Studio will focus on understanding different forms of storytelling as portrayed in animated shorts. Students will then come up with ideas for stories that can be told through 2D animation. Students will learn the entire process of creating a short film piece, from storyboarding to directing to sound mixing, and everything in between. They will then learn how to create compelling visual effects as seen in and use them in their stories using Adobe After Effects. Skillwork includes: digital filmmaking, digital art, illustration, storytelling, and production.

Artificial Intelligence: 2020 Agriculture

Machine vision that uses artificial intelligence (AI) is omnipresent in today’s industries, including transportation, medical diagnosis, search engines, shopping, marketing, autonomous vehicles, social media, remote sensing, and more. Computer vision-based techniques can be used to solve large scale problems - problems that are out of reach of human capability given their complexity to both models and solve. We’ll take these concepts and apply them to Summer2020: Farm Edition, a scaled-down futuristic mini-farm. We will focus our AI efforts on agriculture and food systems. We will use GPS guidance, sensors, robotics, autonomous vehicles, control systems, automated hardware, algorithms for creating efficient routing, survey instruments, and investigate single-robot and multi-robot behaviors. We will also explore precision agriculture and automation solutions for small farms. In this studio, we’ll begin by discussing what it means to have machine intelligence. We’ll go deep into exploring computer vision algorithms via lane detection, image processing with OpenCV, an intro to linear algebra, as well as simple robotics.

Wearable Tech & Healthcare

Wearable technology is everywhere today. The Apple Watch lets you monitor your daily fitness, summon Siri, and make and receive phone calls. Too many harmful invisible particles in the air? Baubles and Bangles is a personal wrist worn air purifier. In the healthcare industry, wearable technology is being used to overcome big problems, and designers are creating smart and responsive apparel, accessories, fitness wear, and assistive devices to enhance people’s everyday life. Together we will be conceive and develop the next generation of health-focused wearable tech. Using innovative textiles, materials, and technologies, you will learn how to design products that will improve the lives of people, patients and healthcare professionals. Based on the user group and medical challenges, students will design, build, program and test their own wearable tech products. Through this process, students will learn the basics of electronics, microcontrollers and computer programming. They will learn how to integrate external sensors (from simple switches and buttons to heat/temperature, light, gas, touch) and actuators (such as motors, lights, speakers, solenoids, valves, fans) into their designs to create responsive products for the body.

3D Printed Food

Boston is home to a new breed of innovative restaurants that integrate technology into the production and presentation of their food. ArtScience Culture Lab & Cafe dives into molecular gastronomy using a device originally meant for inhaled drugs and vaccines. Jonquils Bakery & Cafe on Newbury Street uses 3D printing to create molds for sculptural desserts that are perfect for Instagram. Spyce restaurant relies on seven autonomous cooking pots to prepare customer’s meals. Feeding off the enormous growth of Boston’s high tech and startup industry, area restaurants are responding with desserts that wow the taste buds and dazzle the imagination. What will the future of desserts look like to you? In this studio, you’ll be designing a dessert for the future. Students will work with Pagu’s founder and chef to create new high-tech desserts for their menu. Using the combined power of digital design (computer-aided drafting, 3D modeling) and rapid prototyping tools (laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC milling), students will learn mold making and casting techniques to produce futuristic desserts. Bring your appetite, and get ready to enter the high-tech culinary world!


Outside of studio time, students enjoy a full and varied schedule of extracurricular activities to choose from. All trips and activities are included in the program fee, so students wil never be at a loss for something to do.


Every weekend, we take full advantage of all that greater New England has to offer, visiting some of its most exciting destinations and attractions. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you explore the city, visit historic landmarks, and indulge in New England cuisine. 


Boston is a big city with small town charm and is easily covered by foot. The city wears its history proudly and walking old cobblestone streets, reliving early stories of the US, is an unforgettable occasion. Add a plethora of museums, shops, and classic Boston eats, and it’s hard to find a richer experience.

Six Flags New England

Experience the fun and thrills of New England’s premier amusement park. Home to the best rollercoasters on the East Coast, Six Flags also includes a water park that is perfect for relief from the summer heat. 


For over 30 years, ImprovBoston has been New England's leading theater and school dedicated to the art of comedy. Voted "Best of Boston" ImprovBoston alumni are featured on The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and John Oliver's Last Week Tonight.

Beach Day

Summer is not complete without a trip to the beach. Nearby Hampton Beach, New Hampshire offers a nice combination of sun, sand, and the classic American boardwalk. 

Red Sox Game

Enjoy a day at the ball-park with America’s favorite pastime. Cheer for the Red Sox, explore the stadium, and munch on some peanuts and Cracker Jacks!

Daily Activities

Summerfuel offers a wide range of activities each and every day around Cambridge and around Medford/Somerville, led by our faculty, staff, and local contacts.

Past favorites include:

Casino Night
The Summerfuel Olympics
Museum of Natural History
Design a Card
Bubble Soccer
Quad Kick-Ball
Lip Sync Battles
Ultimate Frisbee
Capture the Flag
Jewelry Making
Talent Night Coffee House
Murder Mystery Night
Water Balloon Fights


The safety and well-being of our MIT summer program students is of paramount importance to us. Each program has two distinct specialist teams – one to manage residence life and one to manage academic success. Each staff member is carefully vetted using a written application, personal interview, professional reference check, and required background check.

Residential & Senior Staff 

At Summerfuel we are particularly proud of our extraordinary program directors, staff, and faculty. We believe that strong, nurturing and experienced leadership sets the tone for a sucessful summer program. The senior staff consists of Program Director and an Assistant Director

Residential Advisors (RAs) are an essential part of the Summerfuel experience and are hired to support and act as role models to our students. RAs are college upperclassmen or recent graduates with experience in residential life. They live in residence, with one RA for every ten students. RAs will always be available to organize activities, answer questions, and make sure our students get the most of their summer


Summerfuel students are required to attend all classes and academic workshops each day, and attendance is taken at each class. During free time, students may choose between an organized activity or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry, or relaxing in the dorm. Students have freedom to explore with friends within an area surrounding campus defined by the program director. In the evenings, students check in with residence staff who will also use that time to catch up on the day’s events.  Students are honor bound to follow safety protocols both on and off campus, and are required to use the buddy system during free time. 
Read our full code of conduct here

Campus Security

Summerfuel campus is a very safe one, and crime is unusual, but students and staff still take standard precautions of living near a big city. Security is on 24-hour patrol, while campus Emergency Medical Services is available for medical aid to any student in need. Campus is equipped with an emergency blue light system, and dormitories require electronic key access for building entry with a separate key for bedrooms and bathrooms.