In the world of healthcare, there’s a growing debate about whether artificial intelligence (AI) should have the power to make decisions for patients. To address this issue and educate high school students, the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (Jameel Clinic) organized a summer program. The program welcomed 51 students from Boston-area schools, aiming to reach students from diverse backgrounds.
The two-week program offered courses like “Intro to Python,” “Intro to Clinical AI,” and “Intro to Drug Discovery,” along with visits to local institutions such as the Museum of Science Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital. The goal of the program was to expose students to exciting scientific opportunities at MIT and open doors for their future.
The summer program was made possible through a generous donation from Joseph Bates and Kristin Loeffler’s AI for Humanity Foundation, reducing financial barriers for students from underprivileged backgrounds. Bates, who was discovered by a psychology professor at Johns Hopkins University at the age of 13, emphasized the impact that someone taking an interest in his education had on his life.
The U.S. STEM workforce has gradually become more diverse, with increased representation of women and underrepresented students of color. However, the statistics still show a lack of diversity, especially among engineers and those with bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering occupations.
During the summer program, students had the opportunity to hear from notable speakers like Phillip Sharp, who shared his journey from growing up on a small farm to winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The students found inspiration in these stories and felt empowered to pursue their own dreams.
The program also included group project presentations, where students had to explain AI tools used in clinical settings or drug discovery and discuss their potential benefits and risks. This encouraged collaboration and provided students with a unique opportunity to think critically about the applications of AI in healthcare.
The Jameel Clinic Summer Program was a transformative experience for many students. They not only learned valuable skills but also gained confidence in their abilities and discovered their passions. The program was organized by a dedicated team and led by a group of talented instructors.
Overall, the Jameel Clinic Summer Program served as a platform for high school students to explore the intersection of computer science and medicine. It inspired them to consider careers in AI and healthcare, and hopefully, it will contribute to a more diverse and inclusive STEM workforce in the future.