SU Splash! allows students to share their passions with participants from local high schools by teaching interactive classes on whatever interesting subject they can come up with. Splash! is a day-long program that aims to change perspectives, builds relationships, and lets everyone involved try something new.
“Is there something you just geek-out about? You learn everything about it and it’s just something you love. This is the opportunity to share it with people,” Splash! administrator Elizabeth Grenadier said.
The topics don’t necessarily have to be academic or even applicable to a job. Other programs have included classes like “How Pokémon Changed the World,” “Ukulele,” and “Lucid Dreaming.”
Sophomore Jacob Brown taught a class last year called “Making Sense: The Poetry of Nonsense” about a non-AP approach to analyzing and appreciating poetry.
“It was exciting putting it together,” Brown said. “It was the first time I had ever written or drafted a course plan. That was definitely a good experience for me. In general it was a really satisfying thing, having put together a class, having it run and having students be interested in the things you’re interested in.”
Splash! programs exist at universities all over the nation, including MIT, Yale and University of Chicago, but it was only last year that sophomore Kavita Singh got together with Grenadier and Brown to bring a similar program to Southwestern.
“Last year we had no budget, as in we had no money. [Singh] actually brought up the idea of having a Splash! at the end of January. We had a program by April, so that’s four months to establish relationships with high schools, to recruit teachers from [Southwestern], and to organize how we were even going to have this day,” said Grenadier.
For the first SU Splash, Singh, Grenadier and Brown only recruited from Georgetown High School. Ultimately, 20 students showed up.
For the upcoming program in February, they hope to have 100 high school students attend by recruiting from five high schools in Georgetown and Round Rock.
They have also received a King’s Creativity Grant for $1,500 in order to create a more cohesive, full-day program, rather than just offering a small collection of sporadic classes. All they need now are the people to make it run.
“This is as big a time commitment as you want it to be,” Singh said. “A class doesn’t take a terribly large amount of time to teach, but even if you just wanted to come over for 30 minutes and meet some high school students, check them in, and hand them their Splash schedules, that’s great.”
Teachers have until the end of the term to register their classes. Volunteers are welcome any time.
“If you’re unsure about teaching this year and you want to see what it’s all about, come and volunteer. You’ll get to see the day, maybe sit in on a class, and next year maybe work up the courage to put yourself out there and teach that thing that you love,” Singh said.
For more information about SU Splash! visit susplash.learningu.org, come to one of the administrator meetings held every Thursday at 5 p.m. on the second floor of Prothro or email Kavita Singh at email@example.com.