Weekend extravaganza of learning at Stanford
A shout out to the 180 undergrads and grad students of Stanford who taught 200 mini-courses through Splash!, a program that brings middle and high school students to the campuse for what’s billed as — and turned out to be — an extravaganza of learning.
The 680 students came from all over the Bay Area and beyond last month to take fun and mind-challenging courses with intriguing titles: NanoSmores: Learning Nanoscience through Food, Collage and Poetry, Creating a Fully Functional Website with Notepad!, How to Identify any Insect and Impress Your Friends, Top 5 Coolest Things About the Brain, the Evolution of Sexy, Backpacking Around the World, and of course, the always popular, Making Ice Cream (with liquid nitrogen).
The goal of Splash! is to fire up students’ imaginations at a time when some are getting turned off to learning in the classroom and dismissing careers, especially in science, as boring . The topics are hands-on and real-world, and the spirit of the instructors, who are teaching their hobbies and passions, can be infectious. That’s why many of the students attended both Saturday and Sunday sessions. As Forrest St. Martin, a junior at the Oakland School for the Arts, told me, after taking sessions on improv and the history of flu scares, “The weekend makes me want to come to a college like this.”
Splash! started at MIT and expanded to Stanford two years ago. It’s offered on weekends in the fall and spring (next one is April 17-18. UC-Berkeley and Harvey Mudd College are looking into starting their own programs. I hope they do.
Teachers interested in learning more about the program can learn more here or write firstname.lastname@example.org.