Priming Aboriginal high school students for university
Simon Fraser University’s annual Aboriginal Students in Math and Science Workshop will draw 85 Grade 11 and 12 Aboriginal students from First Nations communities and schools throughout the Lower Mainland and Cranbrook on Wednesday.
Veselin Jungic, an associate chair and adjunct professor in SFU’s math department, says the post-secondary education primer for high school students nearing graduation is filled to capacity this year.
“We invite Grade 11 and 12 students to our fall workshop because in those grades they’re making decisions about their post-secondary options,” says Jungic. “We see this event as an opportunity to promote careers in mathematics, science and engineering specifically to Aboriginal students. At a similar workshop this summer, many students had their interest piqued in enrolling in the SFU Pre-Health Bridging Program.”
SFU’s math department, Faculty of Science, IRMACS Centre, Office for Aboriginal Peoples (OAP) and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences host these workshops. Through lectures and fun presentations delivered by senior scientists and instructors, they try to instill the belief that math, science and applied sciences are achievable for all Aboriginal students.
“Due to a complex interaction of historical, political, social, cultural and economical challenges, few Aboriginal high school students in B.C., compared to their non-Aboriginal counterparts, pass the mathematics 12 exam,” says William Lindsay. The Cree-Stoney Nations member and OAP director will open this year’s workshop with a welcome address.
“Without an appropriate level of numeracy, a wide array of jobs, from trades to engineering and from customer service to business management, will remain out of Aboriginal youths’ reach.”
This fall’s workshop, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rm 10900, at the IRMACS Centre, will feature math professor Peter Liljedahl presenting Studenting, Learning or Thinking: Three Sides of the Same Coin.
Sophie Lavieri, a lecturer in chemistry, will incorporate fun into demonstrations that teach students the chemistry behind ice-cream making.
The day will wrap up with a campus tour organized by the SFU Indigenous Student Centre.
What: 5th Annual Aboriginal Students in Math and Science Workshop
When: Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: The IRMACS Centre, Applied Sciences Building, rm 10900, Burnaby campus
Note: Media welcome to attend and take pictures
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