October 16, 2014

Cornellians Will Teach Local Students in Academic Program

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Cornell student coordinators will host a one-day educational program on campus Saturday for students from local middle and high schools to take classes in subjects that they may not have the opportunity to learn about in school.

The program, called “Splash! at Cornell,” already has over 75 students from local schools who have enrolled to participate, according to Joseph Fridman ’17, the program’s president and co-founder. The program will offer a variety of classes in topics ranging from “Confusion with Cards: Fundamentals of Card Magic and Manipulation” to “Blitzkrieg: Analyzing the Myth.”

Twenty teachers, who are all Cornell undergraduate and graduate students, will run 30 sections of classes, Fridman said. He added that students will attend four 50-minute-long class periods during the day on Saturday.

Eveline Chan ’17, treasurer of Splash! at Cornell, said planning the first Splash! event at Cornell was a learning process.

“Joining Splash! early on was like working at a startup,” she said. “Everything had to be built from the ground up. As treasurer, [I handled] everything from setting up a bank account, to managing sponsorships, to budgeting with no prior budget.”

Splash! — which began in 2007 — is a national program run by Learning Unlimited, a non-profit organization that sponsors events at college campuses across the country, according to the program’s website. Cornell will be joining over 20 universities in 10 states participating in Learning Unlimited programs, including Yale, the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chan added that she has been able to learn about diverse academic subjects through her involvement with the organization.

“I’ve definitely learned a lot more than if I had joined an already well-established organization,” Chan said.

Allie St. Laurent ’17, a teacher for the event, said she thinks the new program is a great opportunity.

“Splash! at Cornell is an amazing opportunity for all those involved,” St. Laurent said. “We as college students get a chance to reach out into the community and share what we are passionate about, and the kids get an opportunity to come to our beautiful campus and take classes for a day. “

St. Laurent also said Splash! at Cornell has broader implications that reach beyond the span of the event. The program has the potential to help high school students find their “hidden passion,” she said.­­

“The knowledge being shared is just one of the many takeaways from this event,” St. Laurent said. “I believe if we can spark some sort of hidden passion in just one of these kids, then we have done our job right.”