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.

Physics Enrichment Program - add some PEP to your life!

[SWC logo] 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:

  • 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.
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).

If you want to find out more about any of these opportunities, the following list of contacts should give you a place to start:

Secondary-school Physics on the web