How we began
The Center for Translational Science Education at Tufts University School of Medicine was inspired by outreach efforts started in 2000 targeted to providing 10th -12th grade Boston Public School students from Boston Latin School with authentic experiences in scientific research. This volunteer effort worked to pair students with researchers from local Universities and Biotech firms, to provide mentors for students in projects they then used in Science Fair competitions. Between 2000-2008 approximately 150 students had participated, winning honors both at state and international levels (including 3 first place winners and the Young Scientist of the Year award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair). All in all a resounding success, except for one thing – the program only attracted students already interested in science. We wanted to impact a broader range of students in the classroom setting, who rarely consider entering the scientific workforce or health science careers.