What is ATI?


Virtual School



For high school students

Progress Studies for Young Scholars

An online program of guided self-study in the history of industrial civilization for high school students.
1 Semester
Online & On-Campus

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?
Immerse yourself in the history of humanity
Learn about manufacturing from blacksmiths to the 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 medicine.
Explore the hardships people overcame
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?
Grow as an individual
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.
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

Course modules

  • Live sessions with a small group (at most 10 students)
  • Participate in discussions and Q&A
  • Free for all current ATI students
  • Read, watch and listen to the content on your own
  • Contact us at admissions@thoughtandindustry.com for more information

Course details

Yes! Students can earn a semester’s credit through the Academy of Thought and Industry (WASC accredited) for successfully completing the course. Additionally, for students in California who are interested in applying to UCs and state schools, the course is approved for A-G purposes and meets requirement G (College-Preparatory Elective / History / Social Science).

"I learned so much about the history of technology and how I can take part in the future of progress. Through the discussions, I was able to understand the lessons in perspectives I couldn’t have imagined, and the readings were so much fun!"

Ellen B.


"One of the best and most rewarding learning experiences I’ve ever had.… I now feel more confident and inspired to keep the torch of progress going."

Juan David C.


"The highlight of my summer."

Julia D.


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