IDEAS in Medicine

MD student talking to high school students

IDEAS in Medicine is a year-long medical education program that complements the 7th grade curriculum at Eugene Wright Science and Technology Academy. Students from Tufts University School of Medicine mentor and tutor Wright students in math and science, who are taking biology at the age when they begin to formulate long-term goals and envision their adult future. 

We seek to support students from minority backgrounds in their pursuit of higher education. The program is designed to help students improve their math and science literacy, critical thinking skills, and problem solving ability, while also introducing them to careers in the health sciences. Additionally, the program strives to educate medical students to incorporate five basic principles into their life long practice of medicine – Innovation, Diversity, Engagement, Achievement, and Service.

During this pivotal year, Tufts tutors help students develop critical life skills, connect their in-class education with career opportunities and visualize future success. Further, the experience comes at an ideal time for the medical students—the program affords them six months to learn the responsibility that physicians hold in their community, while developing skills that are essential to effective patient care.

  • The mentors of IDEAS in Medicine are first and second year medical students of Tufts University School of Medicine who volunteer their time each week planning, tutoring, and coordinating program activities.  Our volunteers are motivated by their enthusiasm in teaching and giving to the community. IDEAS highlights the importance of innovation, diversity, engagement, achievement, and service in the lifelong pursuit of a medical career.

  • IDEAS in Medicine tutors seventh grade students at Eugene Wright Science and Technology Academy in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Each year, seventh grade students across the state take the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam. This exam tests students' abilities in English, language arts, mathematics, and science and technology. In the past few years, students at Eugene Wright have scored below the state average. IDEAS in Medicine is collaborating with math and science teachers at Eugene Wright to develop new strategies to improve student performance in math and science.

  • In the IDEAS in Medicine program, medical students from Tufts University School of Medicine spend afternoons tutoring Wright students with their daily homework assignments. The program also includes rigorous lesson plans relevant to the middle school curriculum. Our goal for each session is to run an activity that coincides with what the students are learning in class, providing a new and engaging perspective on their classwork in mathematics, science, and beyond.

    Each week, we set goals for students by creating "students will be able to..." lines (SWBAT). We aim for students to master a new set of skills in this way. In order to achieve these goals, our activities range from math packets with practice MCAS problems to science experiments. In the past, we held egg drop trials, solving mysteries through DNA and fingerprinting techniques, and math Jeopardy games.

    In conjunction with the school system, we began tracking the progress of each students and their improvements in the areas of mathematics. We hope this will allow our program to quantify the efficacy of the changes being implemented in IDEAS every year. Our mission is to see improvements in MCAS scores of the students who participate in IDEAS and help them to develop critical life skills which will aid them in pursuing their aspirations in education.

  • At the end of the year, IDEAS in Medicine invites all 120 seventh grade students from Wright to join us at Tufts University School of Medicine for a hands-on day of learning. Students are provided with breakfast and lunch, t-shirts, gym bags, and an incredible day of medical activities. A few of last year's activities included-learning how to do CPR, visiting the anatomy lab, and making teeth impressions with the dental students.