“The children start to think ‘I can do a lot with my life'”: Changing lives with the Weekend School

Published: Friday 2nd December 2016
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by Alison Bert

Nazli Kocyigit, a student at the IMC Weekend School, displays the bottle rocket she made in astronomy class. (Photography by Alison Bert)

Asking a child “what do you want to be when you grow up” is a common enough question. The answer they give, however, is often shaped by their experience of the world. For children from underprivileged backgrounds, they may not know of the opportunities available to them as scientists, engineers or health professionals. The IMC Weekend School in Amsterdam gives them a chance to learn about those worlds with hands-on activities from professionals in those fields.

The IMC Weekend School is a collaboration between the Elsevier Foundation and RE Cares to support science and health education for kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods, and forms the basis of December’s iteration of the empowering knowledge campaign. Connecting with the children who attend the school, it shows the difference the program, at which Elsveier staff frequently volunteer, makes to the children involved. Vivika Acharya, 10, explains how one of the most important things she has learned is that “you always have to follow your instincts about what you think you would like to do.” For her, that means being a doctor; it’s always been important for her to help people, she says, and participating in the Health unit only strengthened her desire to work in a hospital.

Read more about children’s experience in the Elsevier connect article written by Alison Bert.