Campus tour inspires Yorkton elementary school students

By Costa Maragos Posted: April 20, 2018 3:30 p.m.

More than 70 grade 7 and 8 students from M.C. Knoll School in Yorkton were warmly welcomed on campus and spent part of the day getting to know the University.
More than 70 grade 7 and 8 students from M.C. Knoll School in Yorkton were warmly welcomed on campus and spent part of the day getting to know the University. Photo by Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography

Nikolas Gordon, a grade seven student from Yorkton’s M.C. Knoll School, couldn’t help but notice what was happening the moment he stepped on to the campus.

Gordon was one of about 70 students who spent part of the day touring the University of Regina, April 20.

“It feels cool seeing all of these role models walking around the school,” says Gordon of the current U of R students “The students have finals right now so they look pretty stressed out. Their heads are in their books to get their tests done and they’re ready to finish school and have a really good summer.”

Yorkton Students
Looking for clues in the ‘Escape Room,’ set up for visiting students from Yorkton. (l-r) Students Emily Dyker, Kalynn Revet, Jaxon Sperling and Bronwynn Money. U of R Photography
Far from being intimidated at the thought of writing tough finals in university someday, Gordon was inspired by what he saw.

“Seeing everybody working like this makes me want to go to university some day,” he says.

The grade 7 and 8 students were accompanied by Jason Trost, Principal at M.C. Knoll and a U of R graduate. As a student, Trost majored in history and earned a minor in English before moving on to his teaching degree.

“We send so many kids to the U of R from our area,” says Trost. “It (the tour) is about setting goals for the students.”

The U of R has a strong relationship with Yorkton-area students. Following high school, students living in surrounding communities have the option of taking University of Regina accredited classes at Parkland College. It’s an option that allows students to smoothly transition into University life while still staying close to home.
Yorkton Students Tour
Samantha Dech, an Education student about to take visiting students from Yorkton on a campus scavenger hunt. Photo - External Relations

But that option is still a few years away for Nikolas and his classmates as they toured the campus.

Upon arriving at the U of R, the students broke into small groups for a tour led by volunteer student ambassadors from the University’s student recruitment office. They also spent time having fun deciphering clues to solve a puzzle in the ‘Escape Room’ which was set up exclusively for the visiting students, and a scavenger hunt, led by members of the Education Students’ Society.

Free time was also set aside for the kids to play some games in the gym at the University’s Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sport.

The University visit came near the end of a two-day field trip that included visits to the fish hatchery in Fort Qu’Appelle, the Saskatchewan Legislature, RCMP Heritage Museum, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, and the Saskatchewan Science Centre.

“I remember the first time I came to the University in grade six or seven and we came to watch a Cougars basketball game,” says Laura Bieber, President of the Education Students’ Society and a third-year education student. “We just thought it was the coolest thing in life and I will still never forget that day. Tours like this promote that you can do so much more than what people tell you that you can do.”

No doubt the young visitors will feel the same way when they enter University. 

“This campus makes me excited for the kids and makes me excited for what’s in store for them,” says Trost. “There are so many opportunities here now. From 25 years ago to today to see the growth and change, it is mind-boggling and it makes me excited for the kids that they get to study for finals here someday.”