FAQs
How do we start an Edgerton club or team?

Edgerton clubs and teams are primarily for student-initiated hands-on projects that are intended to be sustainable beyond a single undergraduate career at MIT. Get in touch with the Edgerton staff listed in the right sidebar and they can help guide you and other students on starting a team, recruiting students, securing workspace, signing up for shop training, ordering supplies, and more. If you are interested in forming a team under the auspices of the Edgerton Center, fill out the Club and Team Application Form.

What kinds of support do clubs and teams receive from the Edgerton Center?

While individual team support varies with the team’s needs and availability of space resources, the Edgerton Center can assist with workspace, tools, and access to a machine shop.

On an administrative level, the Edgerton Center can provide member(s) with access to an MIT Purchasing Card/Credit Card, provide assistance with travel-related administration, loan out audiovisual equipment, provide access to Zipcar for local errands, and, in general, offer advice and support. Sandi Lipnoski (slipnosk@mit.edu), Administrative Officer at the Edgerton Center, can arrange all of the above.

What do clubs and teams have to do in return for Edgerton support?

In exchange for Edgerton funding, teams make presentations to Edgerton Center staff, faculty advisors, and others. This is an opportunity to gain valuable feedback and assist with overall project management. The Edgerton Center will, on occasion, ask teams for photos, videos, and news items in order to help us support our program, fulfill our reporting requirements, and raise visibility. Note that the president of the team can decide what the presentation is and when it happens. The value of the presentation is the preparation before the presentation.

How do clubs and teams raise funds?

The Edgerton Center typically provides teams with seed funding, usually amounting to 10–20% of their annual budget. The rest comes from fundraising, both externally and at MIT, both financial contributions and gifts in kind.

Do clubs and teams need to have a staff or faculty supervisor?

Yes, we do ask that teams find a faculty supervisor to occasionally meet with and talk about the state of their project. A faculty or staff supervisor can also be a tremendous resource, offering technical advice and providing guidance and encouragement. Staff and faculty supervisors can also help clubs and teams to secure connections for their fundraising efforts.

Do clubs and teams need to be recognized student organizations?

No, teams do not need to be student organizations recognized by the Association of Student Activities (ASA). Some teams find that the ASA can be helpful and gain additional resources and privileges through it, such as the ability to reserve rooms through the Campus Activities Complex and to apply for large event funding. The Edgerton Center can, however, assist teams in most of these matters.

Can a new club or team get workspace for its project?

Space requests are handled on a case-by-case basis and vary based on need and availability.

As a club or team, how do we get machine-shop access?

The Edgerton Center maintains a shop for teams in N51. To get access, a group’s members need to consult with Edgerton staff. Being a team member does not give a student automatic use of the Edgerton Student Shop. In order to use the Student Shop, each student must perform a 12-hour training with Mark Belanger.

What’s the difference between a club and a team?

It’s only the name, but teams may be more likely to enter competitions, while clubs may be more interested in their investigations without the end result of a competition.

Can members of clubs and teams conduct UROPs?

Under the right circumstances, yes. During the academic year, it is fairly simple to conduct a project with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program for credit. To do a UROP in the summer, however, one has to be enrolled during the summer term. UROPs for pay can be done whenever an external funding source can be found to cover the costs. Both the Gordon–MIT Engineering Leadership Program and the UROP office have provided limited funds in this category. If interested in pursuing a UROP for pay, members of teams must consult with Edgerton staff.