Introducing: Progress Studies for Young Scholars

High Schoolers, join this new online summer program in the history of technology led by Jason Crawford of The Roots of Progress.

The Academy of Thought and Industry is thrilled to announce a new online learning program for high school students: Progress Studies for Young Scholars (PSYS). The course will focus on an aspect of history usually skipped over in school: explaining the incredible advances that characterize the modern world.

PSYS launches in June as a summer program, with daily online learning activities for 6 weeks. We’ll be covering the history of technology and invention: the challenges of life and work and how we solved them, leading to the increase in living standards over the last few centuries. Topics will include the advances in materials; automation of manufacturing and agriculture; the progression of energy from steam to oil to electricity; how railroads, cars and airplanes shrank the world; the conquest of infectious disease through sanitation, vaccines, and antibiotics; and the rise of computers and the Internet. The course will also prompt students to consider the future of progress, and what part they want to play in it.

The program will be guided self-study, with daily reading, podcasts or video, combined with discussion and Q&A. Students can go through the material entirely on their own for free, or pay to join a study group with peers and a guide and facilitator. Scholarships are available for high school students. Subscribe to the PSYS mailing list for more information. 

In conjunction, we’re launching a speaker series of talks and interviews with experts in the history of progress, and those at the frontier pushing it forward. Speakers will include Tyler Cowen and Patrick Collison, who coined the term “progress studies”, economic historians Joel Mokyr and Deirdre McCloskey, Michael Strong, the original founder of ATI—hear him talk to Jason Crawford at the Roots of Progress here—and many more.

Get the full list of speakers, learn more about the program, and apply at

This is a joint project between The Roots of Progress and the Academy of Thought and Industry. ATI is a network of Montessori middle and high schools across the country. History is at the heart of our programming, and Montessori believed that learning about the history of innovation was immensely empowering for adolescents, serving to propel them into the future with an elevated consciousness of what is possible to human beings. 

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