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2014-06-24 at 13:08

Active U

By Leith Dunick,
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THUNDER BAY -- Active bodies and active minds go hand in hand.

At least that’s the thinking at Lakehead University, where the athletics department is once again partnering with the school’s academic side for a series of summer camps aimed at helping youngsters exercise both body and mind.

Amanda Nesbitt, the athletic department’s co-ordinator of programs and initiatives, said the Active U program is a unique opportunity – and an important one.

“It allows them to build their self-confidence, communications skills and their ability to work with others,” Nesbitt said. “And it gives them the opportunity to do both in one camp. So they get to do the physical activity side of things, but they also get to do hands-on educational programming with our departments.”

Athletically, students will be swimming every day, trying out the rock-climbing wall and focusing on a number of different sports, ranging from basketball and volleyball to the less traditional soccer baseball. Academically, they’ll be challenged to use critical thinking on a variety of different projects, including trying to build the perfect paper airplane with the help of LU’s engineering department.

Allan Gilbert, the acting dean of engineering at Lakehead, said it’s a great way to promote science, and engineering in particular, as a possible future for students.

The earlier they can hook them on science, the better, he added.

“What we do in this program is provide them with a little bit of a flavor of what engineers do,” Gilbert said.

“It’s very low-level, shall we say, but there are the elements of here we have a design program, how are we going to solve it? Here are the materials you have to work with, and you have to deal with the materials that can be afforded right now for this task.”

In a nutshell, that’s what engineer do in everyday life.

“We’re exposing them to that and we’re hoping in a number of years time they think of engineering as a possibility.”

The camps are scheduled for July 7 to 11, July 21 to 25 and Aug. 11 to 15. For more information, contact Lakehead athletics.




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