Students will become professors for a day this weekend, teaching high school students a variety of subjects through Splash UNC.
Splash, founded in 1957 by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, seeks to give local high school students the chance to get a taste of college. This is UNC’s first Splash event.
Colin Kantor, who is also a member of The Daily Tar Heel’s editiorial board, first heard about Splash from events at Duke University and wrote an editorial on why UNC should start an event.
“So I wrote an editorial basically to the effect of this a great thing and UNC should totally have one,” he said.
Then freshman Tanner Glenn reached out to make it happen.
“I saw an editorial that UNC (should) pick up the Splash idea,” Glenn said. “So I contacted the DTH and they were like, ‘Colin Kantor wrote this.’”
The duo has been working since January to bring the event to campus.
Kantor said Splash is important because it prepares students for college.
“The idea was that motivated college students would design, create and teach small seminar-style classes to interested local middle school and high school students,” he said. “And to basically bridge the gap between high school education and college education.”
Students can take classes and participate in other activities all-day during the event, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be about 36 classes offered in all, all created by students.
“We encouraged people who were interested to think outside of the box,” Kantor said. “If you’re interested in mathematics, don’t just teach algebra.”
Samina Hussain, a high school junior from Charlotte, will be taking four classes on Saturday, including a class on journalism and one on the history of jazz.
“I found out through my mom,” she said in an email. “Don’t ask me how she found it, but thank goodness she did.”
Hussain said Splash will be a good time to be on campus and learn more about UNC as a potential college choice.
“I want to be able to experience UNC life other than just Splash, so I hope I can get a tour in and kill two birds with one stone,” she said.
Glenn agreed Splash is a good way to attract potential students.
“It is great publicity for the University,” he said. “Whenever you have high school students visiting on a nice day in Chapel Hill, it is a great chance for them to see themselves here.”
In the future, Glenn said he sees UNC’s Splash increasing in size to be like the events at MIT and Stanford University, which attract thousands of students every year.
“Me being a first-year student, I am hoping to work with Splash my entire time here and grow it up to that level,” he said.