With the help of Brock University faculty mentors, high school students from across Niagara are working to discover their future path in math and science.
In June, this year’s Faculty of Mathematics and Science (FMS) Mentorship Program got underway, welcoming 20 students from 12 local high schools to take a deeper dive into various scientific disciplines.
The program is intended to jump-start students’ academic careers, providing vital structure and learning opportunities difficult to attain elsewhere.
Senior secondary school students are connected with 15 different FMS mentors from various departments, such as Mathematics and Statistics, Biological Sciences and Physics.
Mentees design an independent study project with their mentor and complete research using the vast resources offered by Brock. Library services and workshops led by Teaching and Learning Librarian Ian Gordon become instrumental in the project’s success, along with support from the student’s high school representative — who nominate students for the program — and their parents and peers.
Program participants gathered in Pond Inlet last week to present on their projects, outlining the scope and their goals for the year. The program culminates in a final symposium on Feb. 22, with a full showcase of research results.
Steffen Zylstra from Saint Michael Catholic High School unveiled his topic of data modelling from a social media perspective. His mentor, Computer Science Assistant Professor Renata Dividino, donates her time and expertise to foster learning for three mentorship students.
Governor Simcoe Secondary School student Camela Temancini — mentored by Biological Sciences Professor Jeff Stewart — is working on cancer cell cultures and investigates oxygen levels in tumour microenvironments.
To foster continued success, mentorship program participants have access to the Science Mentorship Award, valued at $750. The award is offered to students entering Brock University directly from an Ontario secondary school who have successfully completed the Brock University Science Mentorship Program and have an admission average of 80 per cent or higher.
FMS Dean Ejaz Ahmed believes the program has incredible benefit to young university hopefuls.
“We see growth and maturity flourish during the program,” he said. “Students entering university after already completing a major university level project and having spent time on campus are more comfortable and perform well when they become full-time Brock students.”
More information on the program is available on the FMS Mentorship web page.