Program helps students get into fields of science, math, engineering
SYDNEY – A program originating from Dalhousie University is now helping African Nova Scotian students in Sydney build an interest in science and math, says Sydney co-ordinator Bradley Sheppard.
The Imhotep legacy Academy is a community-based, after school program. It’s goal is to promote the educational and social development of junior high age African Nova Scotians.
Right now about 15-20 African Canadian youth use the service weekly at Whitney Pier Memorial school.
Youth involved in the program get an opportunity to engage in hands-on learning activities as well as getting help with their homework, said Bradley Sheppard, Sydney co-ordinator for the program.
“And it’s in a fun environment.”
As part of the program the children also get to travel to other parts of the province to meet with other youth, said Sheppard. He said some example are a trip to the Discovery Centre in Halifax and a trip to Dalhousie University to meet with members of the physics department.
The main focus of the program is on helping young African Nova Scotians develop an interest in science, math and engineering, said Sheppard.
“It’s beneficial to them in the short term and in the long term it increases the representation of African Nova Scotians in the community.”
The program was launched in Sydney in Oct. of 2008 and has been active on the mainland in different forms since 1999.
Sheppard said it’s great for him to be a part of helping young people take an interest in science and math.
“The stronger the youth are in the community the stronger the community is.”
So far the feedback from the community and the youth themselves has been positive, said Sheppard. He said he can see the program working as the youth become excited about science, math and engineering.
“Hopefully it will lead to children choosing those occupations.”
The Imhotep Legacy Academy is a joint effort by Dalhousie University, the Dalhousie University Black Student Advisory Council, The African Canadian Services Division and the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs.
According to the Imhotep Legacy Academy website, the name Imhotep was taken from the ancient Egyptian architect, physician and priest who was born a commoner and went on to pioneer the building of the pyramids as well as making some of the first advances in medicine.