DukeMed Elementary

Duke Med Elementary!
Category: Service, Education



For more information:

Program Website (public access)


Student Wiki (Duke Med student access only)



The Mission: The Duke Med Elementary mission is to teach local elementary school students the importance of a healthy lifestyle through a science-based curriculum focused on the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, exercise, and nutrition. As mentors, our volunteers also strive to nurture interest in the health sciences and inspire students to pursue higher education. Most importantly, it all has to be fun!




Third Grade Program: Duke University medical students invite all third grade classes from many Durham public schools to participate in a one hour educational field trip at the Duke University School of Medicine, where the kids can be medical students for a day! Thanks to support from the Albert Schweitzer foundation, Doing Good in the Neighborhood program, and Duke University, we are able to cover the cost of bus transportation and provide a nutritious lunch for our guests, free of charge! The fall programs focus on the cardiovascular health and exercise, while the spring programs focus on gastrointestinal health and nutrition. The programs are completely run by medical student volunteers and consist of an interactive PowerPoint lecture followed by hands-on small group activities, just in the way that the medical students are taught! The activities include learning how to take a pulse, how to use a stethoscope, studying anatomy using real cow hearts, and taking a magic school bus ride through the GI tract!

Participating Schools: E.K. Powe, Lakewood, George Watts, Morehead, Forest View



Fourth Grade Programs: Duke University medical students invite all fourth grade and some fifth grade classes from many Durham public schools to participate in a two day weekend conference at the Duke University School of Medicine. Saturday’s program focuses on the cardiovascular system and exercise, Sunday’s program focuses on the gastrointestinal system and nutrition. Our volunteers work closely with the local schools to ensure that the curriculum is age-appropriate and correlates with the elementary school learning objectives. The kids learn higher education skills such as working in groups, learning to do research, completing a scientific project, and presenting it to an audience of their families and guests! We believe that this process not only teaches the kids about healthy lifestyles, but it also helps them develop the skills to feel empowered in their personal health choices, to question the world around them in a scientific way, and to start conversations in the home about healthy lifestyles.




Leadership Opportunities:

Duke Med Elementary offers great opportunities for first medical students to pursue leadership roles interfacing with Duke administration, the Durham community, Durham Public Schools and fellow medical students.

Current Leadership and Contacts: 2016-2017

Jenna Frush, MS1 Jenna.Frush@dm.duke.edu
Vesta (Chizoba) Nwankwo, MS1
Volunteer Coordinator
Nicole Dalal, MS1
Community Liason
Aman Bali, MS1
Curriculum Coordinators       Ashley Choi, MS1
Chris Gallo, MS1
Program Research Coordinator
Kirsten Simmons, MS1 


Upcoming Events:

Please contact Jenna Frush at Jenna.Frush@dm.duke.edu for any questions on leadership opportunities, volunteering, or how to get involved!