Join Terrascope!

Class of 2028 — Saving the Climate Without Wrecking the Planet

Mining for the energy transition

The transition to a carbon-neutral economy depends on the availability of lithium and copper. Both elements are found in abundance in the western U.S. and northern Chile, but mining has substantial local impacts, including on Indigenous communities.Your task will be to determine how much can be produced sustainably from these regions every year, balancing global demand with environmental impact and equity.

How to join:

Rank Terrascope as your first choice on the MIT Advising Application and you are good to go!

What You’ll Do in Terrascope:

In the fall class (Subject 12.000 “Solving Complex Problems”), Terrascope students work in teams to develop solutions and present them to a panel of decision-makers and experts. In the spring semester there are two optional classes. In Subject 2.00C/1.016/EC.746 (“Design for Complex Environmental Issues”) students design and prototype specific technologies that address aspects of the problem. In Subject SP.360, “Terrascope Radio” students create a radio program that communicates their ideas to the general public.


Conditions permitting, a spring-break trip enables students to travel to see first hand the problem they have been working on all year. Students meet people who would be affected by their proposed solutions and see the problem in fuller context. The trip is a unifying experience for the entire Terrascope community, strengthening connections across generations of students and among students, faculty, staff and alumni.


Students will gain new knowledge from the Terrascope experience, but more importantly, they will emerge uniquely prepared to tackle complex problems in interdisciplinary, student-led teams.

Want more info?


Do you have questions?  Ask us!

Reach out to Michelle Contos.  Feel free to email the whole Terrascope team at the address: or call and leave a voicemail at 617-253-4074 (we’ll call you back!).