Evanston Township High School sophomores had the opportunity to get a close-up look at Northwestern life during Kits ‘n’ Cats at NU, a daylong event featuring special events, activities and tours, as well as a talk with President Morton Schapiro. The Office of STEM Education Partnerships at SESP supported the event, and Promote 360 students served as tour guides.
The May 22 event was planned to increase college awareness for first-generation college students and those who have not yet decided if they will attend college. Through this event Evanston high school students became more familiar with Northwestern and may become more interested in college exploration.
Talks by ETHS superintendent Eric Witherspoon and President Schapiro and kicked off the day. “You have an opportunity today to be on the campus of one of the greatest universities,” Witherspoon told the students. “We hope you get excited enough today to apply to Northwestern.”
Schapiro, recounting his own experiences in school, encouraged the students to apply to college. He described college as a place where students discover “the life of the mind” but also “have a lot of fun” and become exposed to people of different backgrounds. “I hope you’re thinking about college – now is the time to do it,” he said. “Not only would I like to see you at Northwestern, but I’d like to have you in one of my classes.”
Campus activities for the high school students began with a theatre department presentation of a scene from Twelfth Night. A campus tour followed, with small groups led by volunteers from Promote 360, the SESP student organization dedicated to empowering minority students.
At lunch students played sports trivia with student athletes, watched a video on Northwestern athletics and heard from head football coach Pat Fitzgerald (BS96). Afterward, they learned about college admissions from the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
Students were able to go behind the scenes in Northwestern science laboratories. They observed the 3-D visualization wall at the Center for Molecular Imaging (CAMI), looked through the massive telescope at Dearborn Observatory and observed the large seismometer at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The Integrated Molecular Structure and Research Center (IMSERC) lab and the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) also offered hands-on activities and demonstrations.
Kits ‘n’ Cats participants were easily identifiable by the purple backpacks they carried. The Barnes and Noble College Bookstore at Northwestern provided backpacks, T-shirts, pens and notebooks for the students.
Kits ‘n’ Cats at NU is part of Northwestern University’s Good Neighbor, Great University initiative.