McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Junior inquiry summer camp for kids — learning to learn for life

Published: June 7, 2007
Junior Inquiry Camp photo
Junior Inquiry Camp

Summer is near and kids are looking for excitement while their parents are looking for somewhere safe, non-competitive and educational for their children to have fun.

Both are concerned about the future.  Choices made in and out of school determine how well children adapt to an increasingly competitive world of school and work. Junior Inquiry Camp (JIC) at McMaster University, with its week-long experience of inquiry, personal development and collaboration, is a unique opportunity for children ages 11 - 14.

Children grow up in a world where knowledge grows far faster than they do. Knowledge and information are increasing exponentially, and the total amount of knowledge for technical fields doubles every three years. The Internet has been an important factor for this development – with 2.7 billion Google searches made each month, it is easier now than ever to learn how much you’ll never be able to know.

Junior Inquiry Camp is a week-long program in July that seeks to teach participants how to ask questions effectively, find reliable sources and evaluate possible solutions. The themes this year are inventions, sport creations and global culture.

Modeled after the award-winning Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program and its philosophy of inquiry-based learning, JIC provides an experience that allows children to see that learning and personal development are inseparable.

While stimulating the mind, JIC also creates a healthy environment for the body – with nutritious snacks and a variety of physical activities scheduled throughout the week, from walking along the trails in Cootes Paradise to swimming in McMaster’s Ivor Wynne Center. 

JIC encourages its campers to reflect on their experiences in order to recognize their growth as lifelong learners and team players. Learning occurs best around enthusiastic role models who focus on the needs of students. The counsellors - students and graduates of the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program - are dedicated to providing campers with the attention and encouragement needed to embark on their journey of lifelong learning and personal development.

"I think one of the most valuable lessons I learned from the Bachelor of Health Sciences program is to think about your experiences and how you’ll change because of them - not just the facts you learn in a lab nor what grade you’ll get," comments Paul Uy, a returning counsellor. 

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