For High School Students and Teachers
The Faculty of Science's Departments and Schools offer many events, activities and resources to help high school students explore science and the many careers where science can help you develop your skill set and knowledge.
Plant Genetics Workshop
Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Chemical & Physical Sciences @ Mac
The Departments of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Physics & Astronomy offer Chemical and Physical Sciences @ Mac activities in December and April. Take advantage of our exam periods when teaching labs are free to bring your grade 11 and 12 chemistry or physics classes for a series of activities including hands-on labs and demonstrations. We can focus on either chemistry or physics (and also some Geography and Earth Science).
You can coordinate with a colleague to bring a group for a mix of chemistry and physics activities. Come for an hour or an entire day!
Chemistry Review Manual
The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology has developed a Chemistry Review Manual to help students review of some essential grade 11 and 12 course content before entering Level I Chemistry courses at McMaster.
Geography & Earth Sciences
3D GeoCAVE (Centre for Advanced Visualization and Exploration)
Visit us for a 3D experience in the GeoCAVE (Centre for Advanced Virtual Exploration). It offers an introduction to spatial science using GoogleEarth and our state-of-the-art 3D projection facilities. Students can participate in 3D virtual tours and demonstrations that use the most impressive geography, and environmental and earth science sites that the world has to offer. Geographers and earth scientists will help students view the complexities and wonder of our planet with new eyes.
Attend a Geography or Earth Science lecture at McMaster
Grade 11 and 12 high school classes are invited to visit McMaster University and participate in any of the following lectures during the school year.
- ENVIRSC 1G03 – Earth and the Environment
- ENVIRSC 1C03 – Climate, Water and Environment
- GEOG 1HA3 – Human Geographies: Society & Culture
- GEO 1HB3 – Human Geographies: City & Economy
- EARTH/ENVIRSC/GEOG 2EI3 – Introduction to Environmental Issues
- EARTHSC 2GG3 – Natural Disasters
Hosted by the School of Geography & Earth Sciences, this event fulfills part of the Ontario geography curriculum for grade 9, 11 and 12 students. The annual GIS Day assists in raising the visibility of the field of geomatics among high school students and their teachers. Students can participate in various hands-on computer activities with ArcView, GPS, 3D GeoCAVE and Map Skills. For more information, click here.
High School Visits
High Performance Laboratory Tours
Mathematics & Statistics
Community Of Math Teachers
Every other year, the Department of Mathematics & Statistics hosts a Dialogue on Transition Issues with math teachers in the region. We invite teachers to share their insights and experience about grade 12 math courses and we discuss how Level I math courses at McMaster have changed to adapt to changes in the high school mathematics curriculum.
If you are a grade 12 math teacher, math department head, guidance counselor or secondary school principal, we would welcome your attendance at our next Dialogue on Transition Issues to be held in February 2018.
Math @ Mac – Online Mathematics Competition
Designed to be inclusive and fun, the Math@Mac Online Competition is designed as a classroom activity for students who have completed or are taking enriched grade 9 Math, grade 10 Math, grade 11 Math or grade 12 Math. Our web-based contest can be written at any time of the day or as an after-school activity.
The competition consists of ten multiple choice questions for students in grades 10, 11 and 12. The questions are not necessarily tied directly to a particular curriculum but are designed to engage students who enjoy problem solving in mathematics and to provide them with a challenging and rewarding experience. We encourage students to work in teams of 2 to emphasize the importance of cooperative learning and “peer instruction”. Scientific calculators (non-programmable and non-graphing) are allowed.
Math @ Mac Day
Our annual Mathematics & Statistics Math@Mac Day includes a series of interactive mathematics activities and presentations. Designed to be inclusive and fun, the day features individual and team prizes for a variety of problems that appeal to a wide range of interests and abilities. Plan to bring an entire class or a group of interested students from various levels.
Mathematics Review Manual
The Mathematics Review Manual is an excellent resource for students who will need to take first year calculus at university. It is strongly recommended that students work through the review during the summer months before their first semester at university.
SNAP Math Fair
We encourage elementary teachers to consider organizing a math fair at their school using SNAP Math Fair guidelines.
Physics & Astronomy
Chemical & Physical Sciences@Mac
The Departments of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Physics & Astronomy will offer Chemical and Physical Sciences@Mac Activities in December and April. Take advantage of our exam periods when teaching labs are free, to register your grade 11 and 12 chemistry or physics classes for a series of activities including hands on labs and demonstrations focusing on either chemistry or physics (and also some Geography and Earth Science).
If you like, coordinate with a colleague to bring a group for a mix of chemistry and physics activities. Come for an hour or an entire day!
Community Of Physics Teachers
Teachers of elementary and secondary science are encouraged to visit the McCallion Planetarium with their classes.
Nuclear Reactor Tours
Information about booking tours of McMaster's Nuclear Reactor can be found on the reactor website.
Physics@Mac Online – Physics Competition
We are excited to offer Physics@Mac – Online Physics Competition for students in grades 11 and 12.
Feedback from students who have participated suggests we are filling an important niche in providing a contest which even students whose forte is not physics can feel comfortable giving a try. We are encouraging students to work in teams of two to emphasize the importance of cooperative learning and “peer instruction”. Recent research in education also suggests that students are more likely to give a competition a try if they can work in a team.
Multiple choice questions stress conceptual understanding with less emphasis on quantitative calculation and mimic the approach we take in our first-year physics courses where “concept-quizzes” are used to promote a deeper understanding of central ideas presented in lectures. Several teachers have found the questions to be helpful in identifyig students' misconceptions. Concept questions from our contest archives have been used by many teachers as effective diagnostic tools during regular classes and we would encourage all of you to make use of this resource.
We invite you to take a peek at Hamilton's night sky through a telescope with weekly observing nights hosted by Sidewalk Astronomy.
Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
The Brain Bee is a competition for high school students, grades 9 through 12. It is fashioned after a traditional Spelling Bee, except that students answer questions about the brain and neuroscience research. It is designed to stimulate interest and excitement about brain research.
Students study topics on memory, sleep, intelligence, emotion, perception, stress, aging, brainimaging, neurology, neurotransmitters, genetics, and brain disease, among other topics. It is an exciting opportunity for high school students to learn about the brain and brain research.
Students visit the university in their area to meet students and professors who are doing brain research. It is an avenue of communication, through media and students, to raise awareness of brain research in the community. It is a mechanism to attract bright young minds to the study of neuroscience. The Brain Bee is an effective recruitment tool. We have examples of several students in our current undergraduate programs who chose to study the brain because of their experience as high school competitors in the Brain Bee.
Let's Talk Science
Let's Talk Science
Let's Talk Science strives to improve science literacy through leadership, innovative educational programs, research and advocacy. We motivate and empower youth to use science, technology and engineering to develop critical skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to thrive in our world.
For more information about Let's Talk Science activities, visit their website.