Enrichment opportunities for high school students
Brock University is cooperating closely with local schools to provide a variety of
enrichment opportunities for gifted high school students. Some, like the
Brock Brain Benders,
a mathematics club for high school students, aim to "provide an enjoyable and
supportive environment in which students can advance their mathematical problem solving skills".
Others, like the Career
Exploration cooperative education program offer
the students a chance to explore various research-oriented careers, to sample what it's
like to be a scientist and to conduct experiments in the lab. Students enrolled
in these Co-Op or Mentorship programs are frequently eligible to receive one or more
academic credits for their participation in the program (the programs are quite
rigorous, with presentations and written reports expected of all participants).
Many Departments, including Physics, participate in these programs. In the past few years,
dozens of students from a number of local high schools have had productive and
exciting placements with physicists at Brock.
Starting in 2008, the Department of Physics in cooperation with
the Department of Cooperative Education at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School (SWC) is offering a for-credit
enrichment opportunity for high school student interested in Physics. In February-April, a one-semester
program is aiming to practice Physics problem-solving skills as well as offering opportunities to participate in
experimental inquiry and to develop critical thinking skills. Some advanced topics will be discussed, but advanced knowledge is
not expected. Our focus will be on developing true mastery of simple skills and on building connections across the discipline.
There are no formal Physics pre-requisites for the program, but math skills at the Grade 11 level will be assumed.
The program is open to Grade 11 and Grade 12 students. It does not replace aither Grade 11 or Grade 12 Physics credit; most
students in the program will have already taken Grade 11 Physics, though this is not a requirement.
PEP runs from 8:00 AM - 09:50 AM Monday through Friday
and students receive bus basses to return daily to their academic classes running in periods 2, 3, and 4.
To join PEP, students must pass an interview at the Department of Cooperative Education at their home school, and
an interview at the Department of Physics at Brock (Prof.E.Sternin); these are usually scheduled some time in December or January
prior to the beginning of the second semester. You must indicate your interest to the Department of Cooperative Education by mid-November.
The purpose of these initial meetings is to determine whether the student's background and skill set are appropriate for
the program, and to establish the goals and expectations within the program.
During the semester within which the Physics Enrichment Program occurs, each student is expected to:
Course grade (IDC4U) will be assigned by the Cooperative Education at the home school
based on their internal evaluation
(50%: journals, reports, presentations) and on the evaluation provided by the
Department of Physics (50%: participation, problem sets, group work, seminar presentations, mini-Olympics).
- Carry out their independent and peer-group-based investigations and data analysis.
- Complete a scientific journal detailing their use of the scientific method to solve a problem, and the results.
- Complete weekly Activity Reports for the Cooperative Education at SWC.
- Complete a written report and present an independently researched project at the end of the semester.
If you want to find out more about any of these opportunities, the following list of contacts
should give you a place to start:
- Mr. G.Hinton, Head of
education, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School,
- Mr. H.Friesen, Head of
Co-Op Education, Governor Simcoe Secondary School,
If you are a student from another school,
please contact your Head of Co-Op Education and encourage them to get in touch with us; we'll be happy
to add other schools to the list.
- Prof. J.Engemann, Coordinator of mentorship placements at Brock,
- Bruce Hemphill, Science-Math Liaison,
- Brock's Department of Physics, general inquiries,
- Prof.E.Sternin, Chair of Physics Department and PEP Co-ordinator
Secondary-school Physics on the web