Progress Studies for Aspiring
Young Scholars

An online summer program in the history of technology
for high school students

Get announcements or apply for the program

Do you understand the story of unprecedented human progress in the modern age?

The rapid rise in living standards over more than two hundred years can be seen all around us, but is often taken for granted. What explains this ascent? What innovations enabled it, and who were the innovators?

World population living in extreme poverty Global child mortality Literate and illiterate world population

Progress Studies for Young Scholars is an online program of guided self-study in the history of industrial civilization for high school students.

This program will explore: what problems, challenges and hardships in life and work were faced by people in earlier generations and centuries? And how did we solve those problems through science, technology, and invention?

Learn about manufacturing from blacksmiths to assembly lines; about power from water wheels to combustion to electricity; about food from famine to industrial agriculture and genetically modified crops; about disease from basic sanitation to scientific medicine—and the struggles and circumstances of the men and women who worked to bend the arc of humanity upward.

Your learning will be supported by instructors who will help you develop your reasoning and research skills. You’ll also have the chance to engage ideas with a community of like-minded peers.

The Program

A six-week course with daily reading, audio or video content. Go through it on your own, or join a study group with an instructor for daily online discussions and Q&A.

What’s the time commitment? About 2 hours per weekday (1 hour live with an instructor, plus about 1 hour of reading or listening to material on your own.)

Is it only for high school students? The course is aimed at the high school level, but we will have options for older students and adults as well. All are encouraged to apply.

When does it start? Our first study group starts June 1, with more groups starting at later dates—apply now!

Options to participate

Scholarships available!
Premium
  • Join a small group with an instructor (at most 10 students)
  • Participate in discussions and Q&A
  • Tuition: $1,200. Early-bird discount: 50% if you enroll before June 1 (even if you start in a later group)
Free
  • Read, watch and listen to the content on your own
  • Available later this summer
Get announcements or apply for the program
graduation

Speaker series

Our guest speakers include experts on the history of science, technology, and industry, as well as those on the frontier. It’s open to all—sign up for our mailing list to get event invitations.

Dr. Max Roser
Dr. Max Roser

Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development; Founder, Our World in Data

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey
Deirdre Nansen McCloskey

Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics, History, English & Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Joel Mokyr
Dr. Joel Mokyr

Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Economics & History, Northwestern University

Dr. Tyler Cowen
Dr. Tyler Cowen

Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics and chairman of the Mercatus Center, George Mason University

Patrick Collison
Patrick Collison

Co-founder & CEO, Stripe

Jason Crawford
Jason Crawford

Author, The Roots of Progress

Dr. Anton Howes
Dr. Anton Howes

Historian-in-residence, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce

Jerry Neumann
Jerry Neumann

Adjunct Professor, Columbia University
Founder, Neu Venture Capital

Dr. Manjari Narayan
Dr. Manjari Narayan

Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University

Dr. Laura Mazer
Dr. Laura Mazer

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of Michigan

Dr. Adam Mossoff
Dr. Adam Mossoff

Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Dr. Sarah Constantin
Dr. Sarah Constantin

Founder & CEO, Daphnia Labs
Founder, Longevity Research Institute

Noor Siddiqui
Noor Siddiqui

Founder & CEO, Orchid Bioscience
Co-Founder, Stanford Center for Distributed Trust

Samo Burja
Samo Burja

Founder, Bismarck Analysis
Research Fellow, Long Now Foundation

Michael Dearing
Michael Dearing

Venture Capitalist
Founder, Harrison Metal

Dr. Matt Bateman
Dr. Matt Bateman

Vice President of Pedagogy, Higher Ground Education

Michael Strong
Michael Strong

Founder, Academy of Thought and Industry
Author, The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice

Danica Remy
Danica Remy

President, B612 Foundation
Co-Founder, Asteroid Day

“Civilization was created by man the intellectual, man the worker, and man the genius, who carried out a mission of progress, urged by extraordinary energies. It is man that must be appreciated irrespective of race or country—the man who has influenced progress, as well as the man who, by his work, kept up this loftier environment in which all humanity lived.”

Maria Montessori, “A New World and Education”

“And the story belongs not to any tribe but to all of humanity—to any sentient creature with the power of reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.”

Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now

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