Around 400 high schoolers were on campus Saturday, taking classes for the day about unique topics taught by UNC students.
The 2019 Splash UNC, an event where student teachers have the opportunity to design a class around what they are passionate about, had about 200 UNC students step up and take advantage of this opportunity.
Paige Springman, the administrative adviser and a student teacher for Splash UNC, said it gives UNC students a taste of the other side of education from the teaching perspective.
“It fosters a new appreciation for learning and for education, not just for the high school students but for the college students, as well,” Springman said. “Because UNC students who volunteer with us and teach with us, they can directly see the impact that it has on these kids — they can see how much fun learning is and how much fun it can be.”
And the fun part is that student teachers can teach a class about literally anything.
This is Springman’s fourth semester of teaching her class called “A Fleshed Out History of Zombies” in which she discusses the history, religious meaning and cultural background behind the creation of the iconic zombie in fiction and popular culture.
“It’s a whole science,” said Springman, expressing that it is both thought-provoking and fun for her and the high schoolers.
Christopher Bowers, another student teacher for Splash UNC and fourth-year Ph.D. student, designed his class around hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” because it encapsulates all of the issues involved with the environment on a large scale, he said. He chose this topic because he feels that a lot of people don’t understand what fracking is or the impactful environmental consequences of it.
Splash UNC allows high schoolers to be exposed to opinions about current issues from younger people they can relate to rather than adults already high up in their careers, Bowers said.