McMaster University wants to start getting students excited about learning when they're young.
After launching a Youth University
pilot project last year, organizers will start taking registrations
Monday for the next round of lectures for students aged seven to 14.
“It was a big hit,” said Dr. Sandeep
Raha, a biochemist, organizer and volunteer lecturer. “The thing that
was amazing was how engaged the kids are and the questions they have.”
The program offers Saturday morning lectures on a variety of topics throughout the school year, each about an hour long.
And they're free, thanks to sponsors
Ron and Gina Fraser, who are interested in making education accessible
to everyone, Raha said. University faculty also donate their time for
This year's lectures include topics
such as If Exercise was your Medicine, Would you Take it?, The War of
1812 and The Starry Sky.
Raha said the program was the idea of Dr. Katrin Scheinemann, a pediatric oncologist, who modelled it after
similar programs in Europe.
“What we want is to get kids excited
about learning,” he said. “They will also have an understanding about
the why of some things, which is what they want.”
This year, the university has
partnered with the group that organizes the Bay Area Science and
Engineering Fair, to create a new category for students who would like
to submit a project based on the lecture series.
“We are trying to expand and refine it,” Raha said.
The school has capacity for 300 students. Parents of children younger than 12 are also asked to accompany the student.
Tisha Dayap-Berrio said her three kids, 9, 8 and 6, were thrilled with the first lecture on the human body last year.
“The next one was on global politics, so I really wondered if they would enjoy that, but it was amazing,” she said.
This year she plans to register her kids for all eight lectures.
For more information and to register, check out the website fhs.mcmaster.ca/mcyu/index.html.