MIT has a long and rich tradition of innovation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. The most recent manifestation of this vision is The Future of MIT Education Task Force Report, which documents the ways in which MIT envisions moving forward in the coming years through digital learning opportunities. While the influence of this innovation can be readily seen on campus, this same force has also shaped education off campus. Through classroom technologies, curriculum units, teacher professional development, and learning research, the faculty, staff, and students of MIT have sought to improve STEM education broadly beyond campus, with a special emphasis on pre K-12 learning.

The pK-12 @ Open Learning Group brings MIT’s unique “Mens et Manus”, hands-on and minds-on, learning approach beyond the campus to pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 (pK-12) learners and teachers around the world. The Action Group builds upon existing efforts and develop new ones and engage MIT faculty, staff, students, and researchers in pursuing two major, interrelated goals:

Changing the World through Learning

Bringing the MIT hands-on, minds-on approach to pK-12 learners and teachers through the development of new technologies, services, and curricula. These range from low-cost laboratory instruments and innovative computing environments to new strategies for connecting learners around the world.

Changing the World of Learning

Advancing understanding of what we know about teaching and learning through a diverse set of research methodologies, from basic cognitive science and neuroscience to design-based research and classroom experiments.

pK-12 @ Open Learning fills a growing need in STEM education by initiating new research, technologies, curricula, and outreach activities. This means designing targeted solutions that ranges from low-cost laboratory instruments to innovative computing environments, and advancing our understanding of teaching and learning through a diverse set of research methodologies, from basic cognitive science and neuroscience to design-based research and classroom experiments.


The pK-12 @ Open Learning Group serves as an “incubator” or “innovation enclave” that focuses on pK-12 education. It cuts across the whole campus and all five MIT Schools, and focuses on:

Inspirational content
real-world hands-on activities and programs that have mobilized large communities of learners and educators around the world
Informal learning
diverse programs, workshops, online games and videos providing learning opportunities students of all ages
Formal learning
enhanced digital resources designed to support a diverse group of students to meet diverse education standards
Professional development
opportunity for educators to receive continuing education credit and classroom support
Policy and Finance
community engagement in pedagogy, business models, and global educational strategies to influence a policy of educational innovation

MITili at MIT

The pK-12 @ Open Learning Group applies and disseminates the research of MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili). MITili is a multi-disciplinary center for research in teaching and learning. It drives fundamental research on learning to improve approaches to teaching and educational technologies on campus and online. MITili draws from fields as wide ranging as cognitive psychology, engineering, neuroscience, economics, health, arts, design, and architecture.

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