The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MITThe David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Cancer Institute Cancer Center

Science + Engineering... Conquering Cancer Together

Student Outreach Programs

The Koch Institute is committed to fostering an interest in science and engineering in young people. As part of this mission, we invite groups of middle and high school students to visit our facilities, meet researchers who work every day to solve the cancer problem, and learn interactively about the science and technology of cancer research.

Koch Institute outreach programs are free, typically lasting 60-90 minutes and are generally open to groups of up to 10-50 students at a time. Programs begin with an introductory discussion "What is Cancer?" and can be customized to include:

Tours & Talks

  • Guided tours of the educational exhibits in the Koch Institute Public Galleries
  • Tours of Koch Institute laboratories led by cancer researchers (for students ages 12 and older, subject to researcher availability)
  • Facility floor tour featuring research highlights from selected laboratories (available when lab tours are not available)
  • Presentations by Koch Institute graduate students, technicians, postdocs, and undergrads
  • Career panel/discussion with Koch Institute graduate students, technicians, postdocs, and undergrads (recommended for high school students and older)
  • Exploration of the five focus areas of cancer research at MIT

Hands-on activities

  • How can seaweed help treat cancer? (alginate beads & targeted drug delivery) - middle & high school
  • The Fault in our Cells (exploring tumor heterogeneity & chemotherapy resistance) - best suited for high school (learn more)
  • What does a cell weigh? (exploring engineering and math) - best suited for middle school students
  • Kinesthetic re-enactments of cutting-edge cancer treatments - ideal for larger groups, weather permitting (see example)
  • NEW! Cancer research mini-course (What is cancer? What does it look like? How do we treat it?) - middle & high school

What else?

Visits to the Koch Institute can optionally be paired with other activities at MIT, including hands-on workshops at the MIT Museum. In particular, we recommend:

  • LEGO DNA workshops developed by the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences: Students use interactive tools, videos and unique LEGO DNA Kits to obtain an intuitive understanding of how DNA directs the assembly of proteins and how environmental agents can affect DNA and human health.
  • Visualizing Science: Students use hands-on inquiry and observation techniques to make connections between microscopic explorations of size, scale, and structure and a variety of nanoscience and technology projects at MIT, including work by the Koch Institute's own cancer researchers.

To schedule a free outreach program at the Koch Institute or to request additional information, please contact us at Our capacity is limited, so we recommend reaching out early to reserve a spot. Please note that we cannot assist in arranging campus tours or information sessions. Student-focused gallery activity guides are available upon request for those groups exploring the KI Public Galleries exhibits on their own.