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BC Splash To Add More Group Activities, Expand Offerings

Assoc. News Editor

Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 14:02

Bc Splash To Add More Group Activities, Expand Offerings

Andrew Skaras // Heights Editor

This semester, high school students from the greater New England area will learn, play, and experiment with Boston College students during the sixth annual BC Splash. The teaching program offers high school students the opportunity to visit BC campus for the day, and attend courses created and taught by BC undergraduate and graduate students.

Classes range from introductory calculus to Greek mythology to SAT prep to yoga classes in the Plex. BC students have the opportunity to teach classes they are passionate about for high school students who share that very same passion.

“It’s really exciting because the teachers (who we call ‘professors’) for the program can teach about anything they want,” Mike Dolan, a member of the BC Splash executive board and A&S’ 14, said in an email. “My roommate Tom and I have taught two classes called ‘Real Chemistry, True Explosions,’ where we introduced chemical concepts like equilibrium, oxidation-reduction reactions, and temperature with hands-on demonstrations.  The high school students really love being engaged and involved in the class, so we brought in liquid nitrogen to make ice cream, froze things with dry ice, and burned salts to see the resulting colors.”
BC Splash hosts students from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and even Long Island. Many of these students come from economically disadvantaged communities. BC Splash allows these students to experience college for a day and, in many cases, become inspired by the talents and passions of BC students. The teaching program started in the fall of 2010 and has since grown into the third largest Splash program in the country. This past fall, BC Splash hosted about 800 high school students and held 215 classes. Dolan expects the program to grow this semester.

“We’re hoping to host about 1,000 students and offer about 250 class sections taught by about 150 teachers,” Dolan said. “So it’s a huge program.”
Last semester, BC Splash began a program called the Splash Leaders. On the day of the event Splash Leaders acted as Orientation Leaders, pairing with a group of 15 to 20 high school students. The Leaders hosted ice breakers, games, and activities in the Quad.

“As a whole, the Leaders program is designed to make the Splash experience more encompassing and holistic,” Dolan said. “We want the students coming to BC to feel like they have someone they can reach out to not only within the Splash program, but within BC.  Some students who come to Splash eventually apply to BC, so the leaders function as a contact to whom students can direct questions about the school.”
This semester, Splash staff plans to expand the program. More activities in the Quad will be added and high school students will have the opportunity to eat group lunches in the dining halls.

“Sometimes [high school] students come with friends, which is great, but other times their parents drop them off alone,” Dolan said. “We’d like them to feel welcome and engaged during their time at Splash.  So, group lunches would give them a community they can connect to throughout the day.”
The BC Splash staff has been  preparing for the event, which will run on Sunday, April 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for several months. This Friday marks the deadline for BC students to register a class.  There is only one requirement for teaching a class, Dolan said. Students have to be excited about it.

“If you’re going to teach a class on art history in Renaissance Italy, have a passion for it; if you’re teaching a class on the science of cooking, express your interest in how science and cooking intersect.  Obviously, if you’re teaching a science class, it’s good to have some experience in the laboratory, and if you’re teaching a class on villains in literature, you should read the books you’ll talk about.  But that’s pretty much it—just be excited about your subject.”

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