McMaster Children and Youth University delivers STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) based programming for children and youth in the form of FREE, on-campus Lectures by university professors and community outreach workshops facilitated by McMaster University students trained through our MCYU in the City program.
MCYU focuses on family learning, which allows for greater long-term retention of the material being delivered; creating conversational opportunities well beyond the classroom.
Youth are encouraged to:
Our programs are targeted to youth 7-14 years old, but we do not restrict our attendance. We believe youth and their families should learn together and welcome all family members to all our programs.
MCYU aims to activate a dynamic community of educators, community partners as well as youth and their families to share in the discovery that comes through the understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). Our long-term goal is to encourage youth to become empowered and engaged citizens.
Our vision is to prepare our students to become innovative and responsible leaders of tomorrow. To support their growth, we inspire youth to question their world, discover their potential, and work together to create better futures.
It is important to us that our programs are accessible to ALL children and youth. We are currently working to deepen our relationships with schools and organizations in neighbourhoods where high-school completion rates are disproportionately low. To help decrease barriers we bring our MCYU in the City Workshops directly into these neighbourthoods and provide transportation to our on-campus programs.
Engaging in inquiry-based learning is an important step toward fostering a more fertile relationship between participants and knowledge not yet within their grasp. This model is well suited to inspire the curiosity and self-confidence that is essential to long-term educational engagement.
The McMaster Children & Youth University (MCYU) was launched in 2011 and is the FIRST Children’s University in Canada with programming for interactive, family-based discovery.
MCYU was founded in 2011 by Dr. Sandeep Raha and Dr. Katrin Scheinemann, professors in McMaster’s Department of Pediatrics, and is based on the Children’s university model from Europe, which is now operating throughout the world.
Dr. Raha is the Director of the McMaster Children and Youth University and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University. Following his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, he trained at the Hospital for Sick Children in the area of metabolic disorders and transitioned into the biotechnology sector leading a research group focused on developing point of care devices. Since 2007, Dr. Raha has been a Principal investigator in the department of Pediatrics where his research has focused on understanding the role of the endocannabinoid system in pregnancy and fetal development.
In 2011, Dr. Raha cofounded the McMaster Children and Youth University (MCYU), a community engagement initiative which strives to demonstrate that discovery and creativity can be powerful allies in breaking down the barriers between community youth and post-secondary educational institutions. Based on his mentorship expertise and novelty of the MCYU program, Dr. Raha has been awarded a number of awards such as the Health Sciences Graduate Student award for outstanding Graduate teaching in 2010, the CIHR synapse award in 2013 for his community engagement and mentorship, McMaster’s top teaching award in 2017, the Presidents award for Outstanding contributions to Teaching and Learning, as well as the Ronald G. Calhoun Science Ambassador Award in 2019 which recognizes community members who show leadership in promoting research.
My instruction always prioritizes critical thinking and student engagement. This class is also unique in so far as there are several other faculty providing their expertise on pedagogical design, community engagement, and knowledge mobilization so students will get the opportunity to learn about these important skills from a variety of instructors’ perspectives including my own.
My career highlights have come from positive feedback when it comes to teaching. In particular, I am encouraged by students who have shared that my instruction has helped them think more critically about the world around them and/or ignited a passion in the subject matter.
I am an avid sports fan who grew up playing several different sports including competitive basketball (despite my short stature). I can still be found playing in hockey and basketball leagues around the city!
I recently joined the MCYU as part of a career growth opportunity. Prior to that I spent many years helping to keep the McMaster community healthy and safe in the Faculty of Health Sciences Safety Office.
Having the opportunity to help empower youth and share my passion for learning and experimenting are big reasons why I took this position.
Some fun facts about me are I joined Girl Guides as a Brownie and have never left! I am now a Pathfinder/Ranger leader at the same unit I was a girl member. I also volunteered at the Erland Lee Museum in Stoney Creek where the Women’s Institute was founded and then taken all over the world.
I am a recent graduate of McMaster University’s Multimedia and Communication Studies program.
I have worked with the McMaster Children and Youth University for the past two years as the Multimedia Assistant and am now the Program Coordinator. I strive to create content that empowers the children and youth to be leaders of tomorrow.
A fun fact about me is that I grew up practising the sport of Tae-Kwon-Do. In 2013, I attended the Junior Pan American Championships in Querétaro, Mexico and brought home a bronze medal for Canada.