It’s clear to see how mens et manus, the motto for MIT meaning mind and hand in Latin, is embedded in everything they do at MIT. The four Year 6 and 7 students who visited MIT with me as part of the Nord Anglia collaboration in March got a sense of this wherever we walked on campus as students had impromptu meetings and lectures in the halls and worked in groups on the floor outside of offices -- designing, building, testing and presenting a host of different ideas.
It’s this philosophy, engrained in the DNA of MIT, that has enabled them to become the world’s number one university. Beyond high scores the Dean of Admissions and his team look for candidates who show potential, creativity and a thirst for learning-- traits that cannot be measured with SAT scores.
The students we spoke with while on campus were not only articulate and gifted students in their respective fields but members of the university’s successful rocket team or dance squad to name a few. One such group of engineers had entered a competition to design and build their own human powered aircraft and have since gone on to secure jobs at top aerospace companies working on NASA funded design projects. When speaking with one team member, he said his experience in the competition was crucial in securing the position as his practical, hands-on experience gave him the edge over other candidates.