'Hacks' at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jocelyn Spencer

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Read the article and select the correct answer to the questions below


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The university is world famous for its programs in computer science and engineering. Its students must study very hard to succeed, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any fun. For many years, students at MIT have used their knowledge of science and technology to create 'hacks', or pranks to entertain their fellow students or their rivals at Harvard, Yale, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Although the pranks are very elaborate, students take great care to make sure they do not cause damage, and that their hacks can be removed safely.

Some of the hacks done by MIT students have been: decorating the dome of the main building of the university to look like the robot R2-D2, programming the lights on another university building to look like a game of Tetris, stealing a cannon from their rivals at Caltech, and dressing Harvard University’s statue of its founder, John Harvard, as a soldier from the video game 'Halo'.

MIT’s hacks have become a very treasured tradition at the university; there is even an exhibit of the students’ hacks throughout the years in one of the university’s main buildings!
  1. Where is the MIT?

  2. For what subjects is MIT well-known?

  3. True or false: MIT students make sure they do not damage anything when they play pranks

  4. What was NOT a hack done by MIT students?

  5. True or false: MIT does not like to celebrate its history of pranks

Discussion

Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below


  1. Do you like to play pranks and practical jokes? Why or why not?

  2. If you are working or studying very hard, what do you like to do to have fun?

  3. Did a school you attended have a rivalry with another school?

    Jocelyn Spencer

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