This year, our school bucked the longstanding "Toronto Trip" tradition for our Grade 7/8 class trip. Instead, we went to St. Catharines, Ontario for the Youth University program at Brock.
Change is often a good thing. Unfortunately, the unknown is often uncomfortable for people and so they are resistant to it. Though the students had voted to attend the Brock program, many were sceptical before they went, worried that they weren't going to have a fun time.
They need not have worried; it was the best school trip experience ever! Last night's grade 8 graduation valedictorian speech and student-created slideshow were true testaments to the fun that they had as it earned rave reviews from the graduates.
Brock catered to our needs, and created a custom program for us based on the student's vote on which programs they wanted to participate in. With all of the technology in our classroom going on this year, the students gravitated towards technology programming, rather than the traditional Leadership activities stream. Clearly, technology in the classroom has made an impact on the students.
Apparently, we were the furthest school to attend their program, and they bent over backwards to make it work for us. Due to the long travel distances, they created a 3-night program for us, rather than the traditional 2-night excursion.
So what did we do @YUatBrock?
- swimming in the pool, complete with swim test, fantastic lifeguard supervision, Tarzan rope and diving boards
- animated art using Adobe Flash
- video game creation with RPG Maker software
- robotics with Lego Mindstorm EV3's
- special effects with iMovie
- a dance (huge hit with the students)
- gym time with games
- ongoing recreation activities
- science fun including an egg drop challenge
- nature hike
- and so much more...
Students were also introduced to state of the art computer labs, lecture halls, and a discussion about post-secondary options for all (not just University).
It was an incredible 4 days. Though we were exhausted by the end, the teachers and chaperones had just as much fun as the students. We took part in everything and were especially proud of our special effects project.
Looking for an amazing class trip experience? Brock's Youth University program is at the top of my list.
Want a good laugh? Here is what "the biggest kids" learned about using special video effects while at Youth University.