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.
“It’s important for high schoolers because they are really in an early stage in their development, and they’re in a particularly open stage,” Bowers said. “It’s when they are starting to really form opinions about different things.”
For many of the high schoolers, this is a taste of what attending UNC could be like.
But for some of them, this is their first and only experience of what college is like, said Emily Parker, the executive director of Splash UNC.
Parker has a goal for the program to expand its outreach to attract more first-generation students, with campus tours and advisers for their parents to bridge the information gap about financial aid and what college life looks like. This includes a Q&A session with a student panel, as well as one with admissions officers.
“UNC students really get this platform to share what they’re passionate about,” Parker said. “... High school students can share that and learn more about passions or contribute it to their own while learning about life as a UNC student and getting a little taste of the campus.”
Want to get involved?
Splash UNC will be looking for new leaders to step up for next year, Parker said.