FAQs
How do we start an Edgerton club or team?

Edgerton clubs and teams are primarily for student-led hands-on projects that are sustainable beyond a single undergraduate career at MIT. The Edgerton staff listed here can help you and other students start a team, recruit members, secure a workspace, sign up for shop training, order supplies, and much more. If you’re 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 support varies with a teams’ needs and resources, the Edgerton Center can help with finding a workspace, tools, and access to a machine shop.

On the administrative side, the Edgerton Center can help members get an MIT Purchasing Card/Credit Card, travel-related assistance, audiovisual equipment, access to Zipcar for local errands, and importantly, guidance and support on the engineering project. Get in touch with Sandi Lipnoski (slipnosk@mit.edu), Administrative Officer at the Edgerton Center, to 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 assistance with overall project management. The Edgerton Center will also, on occasion, ask teams for photos, videos, and news items for publication on our website to raise visibility and to help support the program. The president or captain of the team decides what the presentation will be and when to give it, adding a learning value to its preparation.

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, from financial contributions and gifts in kind.

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

Yes, we do ask teams to find a faculty supervisor to occasionally meet with and talk about their project. A faculty or staff supervisor can also be an invaluable resource, offering encouragement as well as technical advice and practical guidance. 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). The ASA can be helpful for finding additional resources and privileges—such as the ability to reserve rooms through the Campus Activities Complex and to apply for large event funding—but the Edgerton Center can also 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 the Area 51 CNC Shop in N51. To get access, a group’s members need to consult with Edgerton staff. But in order to use 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 a 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.