BME facilitates two biomedical engineering outreach programs for students from Grades 7 to 12. The Discovery Program is designed to facilitate out reach in Grade 11 and 12 students. iBEAM (BME Biomedical Engineering and Me) are designed to spark interest in science in Grade 7 - 9 students.

Development of STEM-based critical thinking through inquiry


Student transition to university can be challenging due to gaps in student experience. High school education is rooted in knowledge based delivery, whereas university has emphasis on critical thinking. In strong collaboration between graduate students, faculty, and high school educators, Discovery closes the gap between learning levels.

The Discovery Platform:

  • Emphasizes development of global competencies through an iterative course project
  • Exposes senior science (Grade 11 & 12) students to a university learning environment
  • Builds critical thinking skills through inquiry focused learning
  • Showcases the diversity of biomedical engineering
  • Provides opportunity for hands on experience in university learning spaces

Program Delivery

Discovery is inspired by engineering capstone, which instills critical thinking through execution of experimental design toward a final useable product. Students from participating high schools have the opportunity to interact with BME graduate students, professors and staff over a semester-long program facilitated through strong collaboration with high school classroom educators.


Goal: Emphasize data-based learning through engagement in an iterative course project:

  • Programming is developed in collaboration with high school educators, in alignment with provincial curriculum goals
  • Subject-specific student teams plan and execute scientific method to answer research questions
  • Entire class cohorts execute experiments at University of Toronto with their teachers; maintain consistent colleagues and mentorship
  • Students iterate projects over four on campus sessions
  • High school student teams mentored by and report to a university student instructor

Learning Outcomes

Discovery achieves multi-faceted learning wherein diverse impacts include:

  • High school student development of effective and translatable critical thinking skills through inquiry
  • Post-secondary student development in effective knowledge translation and STEM education
  • Innovative pedagogical approaches for participating high school educators

Program Contact

Dr. Locke Davenport Huyer, Co-Director

Neal Callaghan, Co-Director

Dr. Dawn Kilkenny, Associate Professor
For more information: discovery@utoronto.ca

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