EXCITING NEWS: Our Application Deadline has been extended to June 1st! Admission is rolling, don't miss out, apply for one of our Summer Pre-College Programs Today!
Session 1: July 12- July 24, 2020 | 2 Weeks
Session 2: July 26- August 7, 2020 | 2 Weeks
Welcome to Engineering Design Lab - Virtual! All of Tufts University's world-class research laboratories, academic courses, and programs began operating virtually in March 2020 and, as such, we are excited to welcome you to this new world of virtual learning. Thanks to the wonders of digital platforms, we are able to bring the exciting and rigorous academic experience of Engineering Design Lab safely to you in your home.
Have you ever wondered how engineers utilize various aspects of engineering -- skills such as fabrication, robotics, and computation -- to solve real world obstacles and problems? The Engineering Design Lab (EDL) Intensive will expose students to exactly that through an engaging, two-week virtual program which culminates in a design project opportunity for students to put what they learned in the classroom into practical application. Even better, EDL is structured to be suitable for students of all skill levels, whether you have never coded in Python before, or have significant experience in building your own algorithmic processes.
Expand your academic and professional horizons at Tufts, and take advantage of the immersive virtual instruction you will receive to set yourself up for success. You will learn the fundamentals of robotics and computation -- everything from interacting with sensors and motors in the Maker Kit we will be sending you, to exposure to higher level engineering concepts such as Internet of Things (IoT) and image processing.
EDL will supplement daily, virtual instructional make-a-long sessions with exciting guest speakers from the School of Engineering. This virtual speaker series will give students broader perspectives on engineering disciplines for greater insight into future academic pathways in engineering. Other guest speakers from academia and industry will discuss various aspects of their interests, research, and the latest developments happening within their labs and research groups, as well as issues and obstacles they face in the real world that connects to various facets of engineering. Not only will students gain additional insights and perspectives to further contextualize their studies, but students will also have the opportunity to ask questions and grow professional networks.
Learning from experts in the field and working with real client bases for the final design project, students will work in small, collaborative teams to apply what they learned throughout the course of the two weeks. Students will not only work together to develop their engineering skills, but will also learn how to complete projects with iterative design components and rapid prototyping. By the end of the program, students will be able to virtually showcase their projects to their peers, instructors, family and friends.
This summer will be a particularly fascinating time to study engineering in a social context. With a global pandemic creating unprecedented challenges for industry, governments, and healthcare, we need engineers now more than ever to solve today’s problems and plan for a sustainable future. With our Engineering Design Lab – Virtual, you will begin to build the skills to contribute to these kinds of critical engineering challenges.
Join us for your summer studies and share the Tufts experience! Need more information? Explore our content below, write to us at email@example.com, or check out our recorded video from the Engineering Design Lab Virtual Open House here!
Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver this summer, but due to the ever-evolving situation, is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
- Study engineering and design with world-class faculty
- Work in teams to apply engineering theory to real-world problems
- Hear from expert faculty who are leaders in their fields
- Become lifelong friends with students from all over the world!
- Excellent academic experience
- Deeper understanding of the fields of engineering and design
- Ability to evaluate the “why” and “how” of engineering problems and projects
- Enhanced computational and programming skills
- Understanding of social and ethical issues in engineering robotics
^ This video is a general representation of the general educational experience this program provides, but should not be taken as indicating specific activities that will occur in Summer 2020, as it was created for Summer 2019 when all programs ran on-campus.
Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.
I loved Dr. E and I really enjoyed how we had access to so many resources, including the entire makerspace. I liked how we were taught how to use the fabrication devices such as the laser cutter and 3D printer. I also loved how much freedom we had to make new friends and explore what it's like to live on a college campus.
I love the TA’s, time with friends, and exposure to college life.
As a parent, I was happy my son was able to experience being in a college-level engineering environment and to experience a bit of college life (living in a dorm, taking care of himself, making friends). He enjoyed the interaction with the faculty (Dr. E) and the college students who helped with the program. He also said the makerspace was great and he was glad to have access.
Great program, great instructors, great students; well done!
He loved the entire campus and facilities. He thought the food, activities and entire Boston area were wonderful.. He enjoyed living at Tufts for two weeks, and Tufts will definitely be his early decision school.
Our program begins with a virtual orientation and welcome event on Sunday, July 12 or Sunday, July 26 at 5:00pm ET. During this required orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Staff will be on-hand address any issues.
Daily Lecture-Based Learning
Engineering in the World: these lectures will be offered daily throughout the program to introduce students to the wide variety of engineering disciplines in the context of real world challenges and solutions. You will hear from a selection of Tufts faculty and guest speakers as they help you better understand and contextualize the many pathways and fields of engineering. These lectures will be held live at 9AM ET, but will be recorded and available for students to view on their own schedule if they cannot attend live.
Engineering / Robotics Guest Speakers: Each day, students will hear from a carefully curated selection of guest speakers from among our wide network of faculty, students, industry partners on special topics related to engineering, robotics, design, and more. These speakers will cover a wide-range of topics, including careers, studying engineering, research, and developments happening within their labs/research groups, as well as issues and problems they face in the real world that connect to robotics and engineering.
These events will be held live at 9AM ET and 1PM ET, respectively but will be recorded and available for students to view on their own schedule if they cannot attend live. Students will have the opportunity to submit questions for discussion via a digital discussion board in the event they cannot attend the live session!
All students will receive a 'Maker Kit' prior to the program (see "Materials" section below) that will include computing tools, sensors, and more to be used throughout the program.
In Week 1, the focus will be on developing engineering skills within the context of daily challenges focusing on the following areas:
- Robotics: interactive with sensors and motors as well as algorithmic processing of controlling robotic platforms.
- Computation: an introduction to Python followed by exposure to several higher level concepts and applications, such as image processing, Internet of Things, and leveraging external cloud-based services (for AI/other applications).
In Week 2, we will explore additional concepts in artificial intelligence, image processing and Internet of Things (IoT) as students begin to focus on their seminal engineering design projects. Students will work in small groups to choose from a selection of real world needs/problems, research relevant criteria and constraints, and then design, prototype, and test technical solutions to those problems. At the end of the session, students will virtually present their prototype and develop a portfolio submission.
During both daily challenges and project work time, students will work either independently or in virtual small group ‘workrooms’ that will allow students to engage with one another and their Classroom Assistants as they work. This working time is on the schedule, but students and groups may decide to move their times as they choose, so long as all participants agree. The office hours for Classroom Assistants has been noted on the schedule.
Closing Event: Project Showcase
One of the highlights of our program is the opportunity for small student groups to work together virtually to design and create engineering solutions to real world issues and obstacles. At the end of the summer, all of our groups will display their final projects at a Virtual Project Showcase with the opportunity to explain their design and how it solves a real world challenge. All groups will have post their code and a video of their working prototypes for the event and students will have the opportunity to answer the questions of their peers and instructional staff too! The virtual showcase will take place on July 24, 2020 at 3PM for Session 1, and August 7th, 2020 at 3PM for Session 2. Friends and family are welcome to view all designs and participate in the digital discussion!
Sample Student Schedule
Please note: the below is a sample schedule based on information at this time, considering an individual student attending the program scheduling independent work / recorded sessions in particular time slots. The schedule is subject to change as we continue to evolve the program and speaker list to be as meaningful as possible for our students and will look different for students choosing to attend live or independent work / recorded sessions differently. All times are in EASTERN TIME (please see "Attending from Outside the Eastern Time Zone" section below for concerns regarding those not in ET).Because this is a virtual program, meals will not be provided for students even if a meal is stated on the schedule - this is for demonstration only. Activities may occur during meal times.
A critical part of this experience is the Maker Kit. To make sure you have everything you need to complete your project, we will be mailing to you in advance of the program the following:
- Raspberry Pi
- GoPiGo3 robotic platform
You will also need some basic office and art supplies. Information about this list of supplies will be sent to students prior to program start.
Besides this and the technology requirements listed under "Tufts Virtual Campus," no materials will be necessary for participation in this program. We will, however, be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs materials and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
Note: if you live internationally, we are not responsible if the materials we mail are delayed (which we will try to avoid) or held in customs.
Ethan Danahy [Summer 2019 Instructor*] is a research assistant professor at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Tufts University. Within the CEEO, Danahy oversees several research and development projects around educational technology and incorporating them into formal and informal educational environments. These include: InterLACE (Interactive Learning and Collaboration Environment), developing new digital tools and interfaces for supporting collaborative learning; Dr. E's Challenges, a set of online challenges; Touch Tables in Education, exploring the use of large-format multi-touch surfaces for educational applications; and makerspaces.
* Please note that we are still finalizing the Program Instructor for Summer 2020!
Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual safety protocols.
Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.
Application Materials & Deadlines
Engineering Design Lab is a highly competitive program that fills up quickly. We highly recommend applying to as early as possible.
|Application Opens||Deadline: All Materials||Deadline: Payment||Deadline: Enrollment Forms|
|December 1||June 1||May 15**||June 15|
**Applications submitted after the payment deadline will require payment in full on admission to hold their seat.
Entering high school grades 10-12 *or* a Spring 2020 high school graduate.
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program.
Non-Native English Speakers
If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.
Step 1: Complete an Online Application
The online application will ask you for the following information:
- Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
- Program preferences (e.g., whether you would like to be a residential or commuter student)
- Contact information for 1 individual to submit a Letter of Recommendation - this individual can be a teacher, counselor, or mentor. We will contact this individual on your behalf.
- Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
- Warrants and signatures
If you need to log back into this application after starting, click here: return to my application.
Step 2: Email or Mail your High School Transcript
After submitting your online application, you must contact your high school and ask them to send a transcript to us. They can send us this information in two ways: by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Tufts Pre-College Programs, 108 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155.
Step 3: Parental Consent and Letter of Recommendation
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for both a parent/guardian and a recommender. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian and recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission or recommendation form.
Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 2 and Step 3 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.
Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 business days of Tufts receiving all required materials.
If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at email@example.com or 617-627-2926.
Disclaimer: This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.
Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:
- Submit a deposit to hold your seat
- Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
- Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline
Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.
Tuition & Fees
Virtual Program Fee: $3,800 + $200 Materials Fee per Session
- Includes: all program activities, various materials for use in skills-building activities, opening/closing events, and daily activities.
- Excludes: anything not explicitly stated above.
Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550, applied to the Program Fee per Session
- A pre-payment on program fees is required to reserve space in the program
- This deposit will be applied toward program fees and is not an additional fee
- The balance of payment for program fees is due upon notification of charges, and no later than May 15
- This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program
If you have been admitted to the program, we will be updating the fees posted to your student account over the next several days. The Program Fee balance associated with your Residential or Commuter tuition will be removed and your new Virtual Program Fee balance will be added. Please do not be alarmed if you see any anomalies, they will be resolved.
If you have already paid program fees in excess of the new Virtual Program Fee, the balance will be available to you as a refund. Please see the "Refund Policies" page for more details.
If you received a financial aid award, in excess of the new Virtual Program Fee, your award will be adjusted downward such that your total payments and waivers do not exceed the total new Virtual Program Fee and will not be available to you as a refund. This will allow us to make financial aid awards to more students.
Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to welcoming students from all backgrounds to Tufts’ campus. Although we have only limited financial aid available, we do our best to distribute the funds to students for whom it can make the greatest difference in their ability to attend.
Each of the programs offering financial aid in this way offers a very limited number of scholarships, typically covering 75—100% of the program fee based on demonstrated need.
- Fall: we will distribute any available aid in August
- Spring: we will distribute any available aid in December
- Summer: we will typically distribute two awards in February and will continue to issue awards once a month in March and April, until all available funds have been distributed
- International students are not eligible for financial aid at this time. Families should expect to contribute to the remaining portion of the program cost as well as other expenses like travel, books, etc.
- This program is not available for Tuition Remission or Reimbursement
- Complete the Admissions Application for the pre-college program you would like to attend.
- Upon admission into the program, you will be prompted to submit the Admission Agreement Form in your student portal. Indicate that you are interested in being considered for financial aid.
- After submission, you will have the option of completing a financial aid application in your student portal
- We will review your financial aid application. Your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s).
- If you receive an award,
- You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
- You will have 10 days (including weekends and holidays) to accept the award by completing your Financial Aid Award Form and submitting your deposit
- Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
- Please note: Your enrollment in the program is still contingent on payment of any remaining balance after the award is applied to your account, and on receiving your enrollment forms
- If you do not receive an award, your application will be automatically considered in the next application cycle for the program term in which you are applying, unless funds are no longer available.
- Once all of our funds have been distributed, we will notify all remaining applicants.
Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.
We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Tufts Virtual Campus brings new meaning to this as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have full access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:
- Zoom: allows students to connect for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions ... and more!
- Canvas: provides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Many programs will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site.
Tufts Virtual Campus programs are being designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students. We are carefully designing them to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.
As we are learning from this period of quarantine, virtual interaction can approximate, but rarely replaces in-person interaction. With that said, technology offers us with tremendous opportunities to facilitate various kinds of social interaction that allow us to instantly connect students from around the world in the environments in which they thrive. We will be hosting a variety of virtual social experiences for students to interact with each other within their program and across programs! We firmly believe your ability to make new friends from around the world will not be hindered by the virtual environment!
Technical Needs & Support
Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:
- Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
- Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
- Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
- Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
- If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability.
- Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
- Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates:
- Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
- Software: programs capable of
We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software will include Zoom and Canvas.
Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable!
Critical university emails will go to your Tufts email address. You can access your Tufts email through a web‐based email reader used to manage your Tufts email. It includes calendar and contact management tools as well. You must read Tufts University email, since this is the primary way that the university will send you information about registration and payment. Access Tufts Exchange via this link.
First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.
If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.
Tufts Pre-College Programs staff is developing a series of virtual social activities throughout the program so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students from all time zones can participate. Here is our tentative schedule to-date:
- Morning Meetups: start (or end) your day by catching-up with your classmates and classroom assistants about current events, last night's late night show, recent lectures or events over breakfast! Tentatively scheduled for M / W / F 8-8:45am ET
- Lunch & Learns: join your peers from around the world to discuss an interesting topic in a staff-led discussion every Tuesday 12-12:45pm ET. Can't attend live? No problem, we'll post recordings so you can view them later!
- Trivia Night: Thursday nights at 9PM ET are for trivia! Unwind with your classmates and some friendly competition. Students who cannot play live will be able to form teams and submit their answers (timed!) digitally in advance. We will be keeping a running scoreboard across teams throughout the summer!
- Wellness Courses: To get you moving and feeling your best, attend at-home guided meditation, yoga, or other workout classes, offered Saturdays at 9AM ET. These will be recorded so you can attend them later as well.
- Game Club: Create teams and play games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Chess, and more. Teams will make moves when on their own time and games will play out over the course of the program or summer.
And more! Look out for a social events calendar that may include a virtual talent show, dance party, cooking classes, photo challenges, scavenger hunts, 'quarenTHEME' spirit days, museum tours, and more!
Most programs will offer independent study time for students in a shared (and monitored) "Common Rooms" "Studio Spaces" or "Study Rooms" that will allow students to work in the company of their peers, sharing questions and chatting.
Many programs are also planning their own program-specific activities, often thematically relevant to the program content itself. Look out for these activities in the program description above and in the information provided after you enroll!
Attending Outside the Eastern Time Zone
If you live on the West Coast or internationally, you may be wondering how you will be able to participate in this program. Please know that Tufts sees a diversity of geographical perspectives as not just beneficial but essential to a twenty-first century education. We have been working hard with our staff to ensure all students who are offered a spot in the program will be able to attend - whether in live or recorded sessions. We have done our best to note places where we feel there is an incremental benefit to live attendance and will be focusing our efforts on these parts of the schedule. All of the below is tentative and subject to change as we seek improved ways of our students needs and have a better sense of the geographic distribution of our students.
Students should always feel free to get in touch with program staff at any point to let us know how we can best accommodate the challenges of distance learning and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate where possible.
Lectures and Speakers: Instructional, make-a-long time, and guest speakers will be available live, and will also be recorded for additional access. Digital discussion boards will allow students to post questions in advance of these lectures if they know they won't be able to attend live. Technical questions can be addressed to the CAs during office hours.
Project Worktime: Students will be placed in small groups based on geographic region and time zone and will schedule their meetings at a mutually-agreeable time (brokered by a CA), to the extent possible, with the goal that activities can be completed in real-time, together.
Classroom Assistant Support: Classroom Assistants will be available in shifts (exact timing TBD) to assist students with questions in different time zones. We are hoping to hire Classroom Assistants located outside of ET to facilitate this.
Project Showcase: Will be held live via Zoom and recorded and posted to Canvas. We do strongly encourage all students to try to attend live. For groups that are unable to attend live, they will be able to record their presentation in advance and see questions submitted from viewers to a digital discussion board.
Orientation: Will be held live via Zoom and recorded and posted to Canvas. We do strongly encourage all students to try to attend live. Students will be required to watch the orientation even if they do not attend live and will need to complete a short quiz about covered contents.
Social Activities: We will be offering virtual social activities at different times throughout the day or night (to the extent possible) so that students from across time zones will be able to participate! Some activities, like our virtual board games, will be played throughout the program - with moves made by players and teams when they can check in.