Research up close

Research up close

Research up close

Recess file shot.

Four years in, CHYS prof’s recess project continues to build fun into school day, May 20, 2015

Recess for students at seven elementary schools is a lot more fun thanks to Lauren McNamara and her Recess Project.

They now have clubs to join in winter and organized outdoor activities in which participate when the weather warms. It’s because the Child and Youth Studies professor has worked for four years to make school day breaks more inclusive and enjoyable - even if the students’ idea of fun is doing 100 push-ups during fitness bootcamp.

“We go with what kids want and the No. 1 thing, especially with winter, is clubs,” McNamara says. “Dance club, drama club, magic club, yoga, zumba, crafts, fitness bootcamp, amazingly. I was surprised at the interest in that.”

But McNamara isn’t surprised at the reason why students want to do more than stand outside, huddled in a doorway, waiting for the bell to ring and recess to end.

“It’s about belonging,” she says about students’ involvement in the activities planned for them. “When they have friends and belong, they’re more likely to engage in fitness. They’ll do it because they feel accepted so when the weather is nice, they’re more likely to go outside to play because they have friends and won’t be rejected.” -

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File shot of young children.

Developing the young athlete: research panel, April 23, 2015

Is weightlifting and other resistance training dangerous for my son? Is my daughter’s gymnastics causing the delay in the onset of her puberty?

Why is it so expensive for us to participate in community sport? Are the logistical and emotional hassles of being a “sport family” worth the time and trouble?

Parents whose children are enrolled in sports activities - from Little League to elite level - ask a lot of questions as they and their families get deeper into their sport.

A group of Brock University researchers have been studying the answers. They presented their findings and experiences at a panel celebrating Ontario Research Week in early April.

Bareket Falk, a pediatric exercise physiologist who researches the impact of exercise on children’s bodies, says there’s a common misconception that resistance training stunts their growth.

“During the Olympics, we see sports such as wrestling or weightlifting,” she told the audience. “Usually those guys on the podium, especially the gold metal winners, are relatively short; people say it’s because they’re doing all this lifting.”

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Shot of diploma in hands.

Niagara perspective of barriers to post-secondary education, March 4, 2015

What most determines whether or not someone pursues post-secondary education is the education of his or her parents, says a new Brock University brief.

“If a student’s family has no history of PSE (post-secondary education) he or she will be more likely to choose a non-university program, or not to pursue education at all after high school,” says Barriers to Post-Secondary Education Perspectives from Niagara.

It’s a cycle that’s particularly pronounced in Niagara, given the region’s connection to manufacturing, says the brief’s author, Kate Cassidy, who notes this is a “pivotal time” in Niagara’s history.

“As I spoke with different people during the research, many were saying, ‘We have a history connected to manufacturing; the grandfather went, the father went, but now they realize that that’s not something that the child can do,” says Cassidy. “They’re trying to figure out what role their kids can play, what kind of careers, and what kind of education, they should be pursuing.”

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