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


BME Biomedical Engineering and Me (iBEAM) is an outreach program designed to excite students entering Grades 7, 8 and 9 about applying science and technology to address modern challenges in human health.

Participants will have the opportunity to interact with our professors and graduate students and learn about tissue engineering, medical devices and more via hands-on activities at U of T.

Program Delivery

iBEAM works with program facilitators to identify dates during the school year or in the summer that are suitable to host a group of students.

Delivery Options
  1. Full-day event with multiple workshops
  2. Single workshops in one to two-hour windows
Workshop Examples
  • Helping hands: engineering health-care gadgets
  • How to build a pancreas in a dish
  • How seaweed can make medicines last longer in the body
  • Making ears from apples
  • What do plastic bags and frying pans have to do with blood vessels?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is this program for?

iBEAM is designed for students entering Grades 7, 8 or 9 in September. iBEAM gives program preference to under-represented minority participants.

Is there a cost to participate?

There is no cost to participate in iBEAM. iBEAM may be able to provide public transit reimbursement.

How many students can you accommodate? 

Each one-day iBEAM program can accommodate 10-12 students.

What should I wear?

Pants and flat-bottomed, closed-toe shoes must be worn for lab-based activities. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided as required.

Weather permitting, we will spend some time outdoors for full-day events, so dress accordingly and comfortably.

Should I bring my own lunch?

Lunch is provided for full-day events, but if there are specific food restrictions the student should bring their own lunch.

Where is this program being held?

iBEAM is held on the University of Toronto St. George Campus (downtown).

What are the registration deadlines?

We consider iBEAM registration requests on a rolling basis. In some cases we can host a group during the school year for a one to two-hour activity—ask us!

Program Contact

Biomedical Engineering Student Association (BESA)
For more information: besa.ibbme@utoronto.ca