Many of Newark’s high schools are full of students eager to learn as much as they can before moving on to the next phase of their lives. Originally founded by Learning Unlimited and held at MIT, Splash has made its way to NJIT for students to impart a bit of their knowledge to those willing to take the first steps toward their future.
“We wanted to make this program for the high school students to get a sense of college life and inspire them to learn more,” explained Taylor Tu, a third year dual majoring in Computer Science/Math and co-coordinator for Splash. She claimed that after having attended Splash events hosted by other colleges together with other coordinators, bringing the event to NJIT would be a good idea.
After weeks of planning, the NJIT Splash team kicked off the event with over 230 high school students – from all grades – in attendance. NJIT students placed themselves into the shoes of their professors to sort out class material and topics to provide to their perspective classes. Upon signing up to teach their topic, students attended mandatory training sessions in preparation for teaching in the clearest manner.
The category of classes offered during Splash mirrored the different departments at NJIT (Humanities, Engineering, Math, Computer Science, and more). To mimic the college experience as closely as possible, high school students were prompted to register for their classes before they closed.
When browsing the catalog of classes to take, students were given an idea of the difficulty of some classes, shown by the number of stars presented next to the class. Classes with a higher difficulty would have more stars.
At this event, which took place on a Saturday, high school students took classes that would both challenge their critical thinking skills and creativity. There was a balance between traditional academic subjects, such as physics, engineering, computer science – needed to create mobile applications – and public speaking, and more unique, creative ones, like philosophy, film, origami, and drawing..
Another coordinator of Splash, Urvya Iyer, hopes NJIT Splash will help make a positive impression of college on high school students in attendance, “By letting them [high school students] choose their own classes, walk around the campus and find the classes by themselves, we hoped that they would start to think of college as fun and hopefully an option for their future.”
Both Taylor and Urvya thank their event advisor, Ms. Chipepo, for supporting the event. The next expected Splash event will occur sometime next year,. To learn more about Splash visit njitsplash.learningu.org.