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Students & Teachers

The Faculty of Science’s Departments and Schools offer many events, activities and resources to help high school students explore science and the many careers where science can help you develop your skill set and knowledge.

If you are interested in booking a school group Science Tour, please contact at


Plant Genetics Workshop

In this workshop offered by the Department of Biology, high school students can have a “hands-on” experience performing molecular genetic experiments with the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The five-hour workshop, including a one-hour break for lunch, teaches students about amplifying DNA and monitoring gene activity. To find out more, contact Dr. Elizabeth Weretilnyk.

Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Chemical & Physical Sciences @ Mac

The Departments of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Physics & Astronomy offer Chemical and Physical Sciences @ Mac activities in December and April. Take advantage of our exam periods when teaching labs are free to bring your grade 11 and 12 chemistry or physics classes for a series of activities including hands-on labs and demonstrations. We can focus on either chemistry or physics (and also some Earth, Environment & Society).

You can coordinate with a colleague to bring a group for a mix of chemistry and physics activities. Come for an hour or an entire day!

Chemistry Review Manual

The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology has developed a Chemistry Review Manual to help students review of some essential grade 11 and 12 course content before entering Level I Chemistry courses at McMaster.

Earth, Environment & Society

3D GeoCAVE (Centre For Advanced Visualization And Exploration)

Visit us for a 3D experience in the GeoCAVE (Centre for Advanced Virtual Exploration). It offers an introduction to spatial science using GoogleEarth and our state-of-the-art 3D projection facilities. Students can participate in 3D virtual tours and demonstrations that use the most impressive geography, and environmental and earth science sites that the world has to offer. Geographers and earth scientists will help students view the complexities and wonder of our planet with new eyes.

Please contact for more information.

Attend A Geography Or Earth Science Lecture At McMaster

Grade 11 and 12 high school classes are invited to visit McMaster University and participate in any of the following lectures during the school year.

ENVIRSC 1G03 – Earth and the Environment
ENVIRSC 1C03 – Climate, Water and Environment
GEOG 1HA3 – Human Geographies: Society & Culture
GEO 1HB3 – Human Geographies: City & Economy
EARTH/ENVIRSC/GEOG 2EI3 – Introduction to Environmental Issues
EARTHSC 2GG3 – Natural Disasters

Please contact for more information.


Hosted by the School of Earth, Environment & Society, this event fulfills part of the Ontario geography curriculum for grade 9, 11 and 12 students. The annual GIS Day assists in raising the visibility of the field of geomatics among high school students and their teachers. Students can participate in various hands-on computer activities with ArcView, GPS, 3D GeoCAVE and Map Skills. Click here for more information about GIS Day.

High School Visits

You can have a graduate student in the School of Earth, Environment & Society visit your high school classroom and give a presentation. (Only available to schools within a 25 km radius of McMaster University.) Your students can learn first hand how science (whether it be biology, chemistry or physics) can be applied to the physical environment. They can also learn about the numerous career opportunities associated with a B.Sc. in Earth and Environmental Sciences. For more information, please contact Maureen Padden.

McMaster Rocks

Campus Geology at McMaster University


High Performance Laboratory Tours

Our Kinesiology tours are designed for senior level students in the health and fitness area (e.g., 12 U Exercise Science, 12 U Biology, College Health and Wellness Courses). Tours last up to 120 minutes and are intended to introduce students to commonly used tests of human performance and body composition. For more information about kinesiology lab tours, click here.

Mathematics & Statistics

Community Of Math Teachers

Every other year, the Department of Mathematics & Statistics hosts a Dialogue on Transition Issues with math teachers in the region. We invite teachers to share their insights and experience about grade 12 math courses and we discuss how Level I math courses at McMaster have changed to adapt to changes in the high school mathematics curriculum.

If you are a grade 12 math teacher, math department head, guidance counselor or secondary school principal, we would welcome your attendance at our next Dialogue on Transition Issues.

If you have any questions about this event, or if you would like to receive email reminders for this and other upcoming outreach events, please contact Erin Clements, Outreach Coordinator.

Math @ Mac – Online Mathematics Competition

Designed to be inclusive and fun, the Math@Mac Online Competition is designed as a classroom activity for students who have completed or are taking enriched grade 9 Math, grade 10 Math, grade 11 Math or grade 12 Math. Our web-based contest can be written at any time of the day or as an after-school activity.

The competition consists of ten multiple choice questions for students in grades 10, 11 and 12. The questions are not necessarily tied directly to a particular curriculum but are designed to engage students who enjoy problem solving in mathematics and to provide them with a challenging and rewarding experience. We encourage students to work in teams of 2 to emphasize the importance of cooperative learning and “peer instruction”. Scientific calculators (non-programmable and non-graphing) are allowed.

Please contact Erin Clements, Outreach Coordinator, for more information.

Math @ Mac Day

Our annual Mathematics & Statistics Math@Mac Day includes a series of interactive mathematics activities and presentations. Designed to be inclusive and fun, the day features individual and team prizes for a variety of problems that appeal to a wide range of interests and abilities. Plan to bring an entire class or a group of interested students from various levels.

Please contact Erin Clements, Outreach Coordinator, for more information.

Mathematics Review Manual

The Mathematics Review Manual is an excellent resource for students who will need to take first year calculus at university. It is strongly recommended that students work through the review during the summer months before their first semester at university.

SNAP Math Fair

We encourage elementary teachers to consider organizing a math fair at their school using SNAP Math Fair guidelines.

Physics & Astronomy

Chemical & Physical Sciences@Mac

The Departments of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Physics & Astronomy will offer Chemical and Physical Sciences@Mac Activities in December and April. Take advantage of our exam periods when teaching labs are free, to register your grade 11 and 12 chemistry or physics classes for a series of activities including hands on labs and demonstrations focusing on either chemistry or physics (and also some Earth, Environment & Society).

If you like, coordinate with a colleague to bring a group for a mix of chemistry and physics activities. Come for an hour or an entire day!

Community Of Physics Teachers

The Department of Physics & Astronomy invites high school physics teachers to participate in the Community of Physics Teachers meetings. These meetings bring high school teachers and faculty members in the Department together to discuss transition issues and curriculum revision, to share ideas and resources, and to enjoy presentations on topics of mutual interest as we attempt to build a community of physics teachers. Please email for more information.

McCallion Planetarium

Teachers of elementary and secondary science are encouraged to visit the McCallion Planetarium with their classes.

Nuclear Reactor Tours

Information about booking tours of McMaster’s Nuclear Reactor can be found on the reactor website.

Physics@Mac Online – Physics Competition

We are excited to offer Physics@Mac – Online Physics Competition for students in grades 11 and 12.

Feedback from students who have participated suggests we are filling an important niche in providing a contest which even students whose forte is not physics can feel comfortable giving a try. We are encouraging students to work in teams of two to emphasize the importance of cooperative learning and “peer instruction”. Recent research in education also suggests that students are more likely to give a competition a try if they can work in a team.

Multiple choice questions stress conceptual understanding with less emphasis on quantitative calculation and mimic the approach we take in our first-year physics courses where “concept-quizzes” are used to promote a deeper understanding of central ideas presented in lectures. Several teachers have found the questions to be helpful in identifying students’ misconceptions. Concept questions from our contest archives have been used by many teachers as effective diagnostic tools during regular classes and we would encourage all of you to make use of this resource.

Please email for more information.

Sidewalk Astronomy

We invite you to take a peek at Hamilton’s night sky through a telescope with weekly observing nights hosted by Sidewalk Astronomy.

Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

Brain Bee

The Brain Bee is a competition for high school students, grades 9 through 12. It is fashioned after a traditional Spelling Bee, except that students answer questions about the brain and neuroscience research. It is designed to stimulate interest and excitement about brain research.

Students study topics on memory, sleep, intelligence, emotion, perception, stress, aging, brain-imaging, neurology, neurotransmitters, genetics, and brain disease, among other topics. It is an exciting opportunity for high school students to learn about the brain and brain research.

Students visit the university in their area to meet students and professors who are doing brain research. It is an avenue of communication, through media and students, to raise awareness of brain research in the community. It is a mechanism to attract bright young minds to the study of neuroscience. The Brain Bee is an effective recruitment tool. We have examples of several students in our current undergraduate programs who chose to study the brain because of their experience as high school competitors in the Brain Bee.

Let’s Talk Science

Let’s Talk Science strives to improve science literacy through leadership, innovative educational programs, research and advocacy. We motivate and empower youth to use science, technology and engineering to develop critical skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to thrive in our world.

Visit the Let’s Talk Science website for more information about activities.