• Baylor’s ‘University for Young People’ has long connected community & campus

    Students learning outside at Baylor's University for Young People

    What Baylor program transports Central Texas youth to archaeological digs or space stations, and encourages them to develop skills in fields as wide-ranging as screenwriting to linear algebra?

    It’s University for Young People, a program put on by Baylor’s School of Education for nearly four decades.

    This year’s University for Young People (UYP) recently concluded, welcoming students from first through 12th grade to campus to learn from faculty and staff from Baylor, Waco ISD and more, with a pretty impressive curriculum packaged in the form of a mystery-solving journey.

    The youngest of the young people in UYP are in grades 1-3. This year, they could participate in either archaeology or space travel experiences (or both). In either case, the experience was designed to help students use a variety of tools to learn to solve problems in a fun way. The archaeology session created a scenario in which students uncovered a long-forgotten people and shared what they learned. In the second session, grade schoolers discovered a “mess” on a space station and worked to help families and children living there.

    In grades 4-12, students participated in classes that sound like a college catalog: engineering design, writing for the screen, introduction to the brain, complex numbers, and more. Other options sound downright fun: classes on slam poetry, photography, writing a children’s book, graphic design, media analysis… the list goes on. The higher-level courses are for gifted and talented students from the communities surrounding Baylor, and students choose three courses per day, cycling through a wide array of experiences.

    The relative quiet of campus in the summer opens doors for young people to visit through experiences like UYP, athletic camps and more. Some will end up attending Baylor, and whether or not they are enticed by our beautiful campus, they all leave enriched by programs designed with care by Baylor faculty, prepared for further excellence in their own elementary or high schools.

    Sic ’em, University for Young People!

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