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Two Middlesboro High School Students Accepted into Prestigious Program With MIT

Aieza Ahmad and Kayla Heck, juniors at MHS, were both accepted into the MIT Beaver Works Fall 2023 Outreach Program.

Date: October 16, 2023

Contact: Dr. Chris Stotts, Director of STEM Education


Middlesboro, KY — Thanks to a partnership between Middlesboro Schools and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two students from Middlesboro High School (MHS) have a chance to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Aieza Ahmad and Kayla Heck, juniors at MHS, were both accepted into the MIT Beaver Works Fall 2023 Outreach Program. This program focuses specifically on 11th grade girls across the nation who have interests in STEM-based fields.

Beaver Works is a collaborative center created by the MIT School of Engineering and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The center conducts research and focuses on educational outreach programs as an avenue to address global issues through science, research, and education. Among the wide array of programming is the Girls Who Can! STEM series designed to provide rising career-minded students with exposure to opportunities in an array of fields ranging from engineering to digital data science.

Aieza and Kayla will be engaged in a course titled Many Interesting Things: For Aspiring Engineers From Transistors to Data Science. This experience will provide the students with early exposure to the technologies that are at the forefront of our digital society and how these tools connect to medical data analytics. The girls will meet virtually with MIT faculty and mentors weekly as they study elements such as Python Coding Systems, Computer Architecture, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Linux Operating System, and more.

As both girls are undecided on their choice of university, both see this program as providing them with skills relative to their future careers. Kayla has aspirations of pursuing a career in dentistry or education, as she is passionate about finding opportunities to help others. Aieza has interest in pursuing a career in the field of business and becoming an entrepreneur and hopes to create and foster digital businesses on her way to becoming a successful CEO. Both recognize the significance of an opportunity such as this and the potential it holds to position them for success as they navigate their post-high school college and career journey.

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