Discovery Expo 2022

Hamline Discovery Expo Introduces Young Minds to Big Ideas

Every spring, Hamline Elementary students go on a field trip that is just a short distance, but has the possibility of making a huge impact on their future.

The Hamline Discovery Expo, now in its third year, brings Hamline Elementary students across Snelling Avenue to Hamline University for a day of exploration around the college campus and exposure to multiple areas of study, allowing K-5 students to deepen their understanding of their own interests and future career possibilities.

It’s all part of the Hamline to Hamline Collaboration, an educational exchange that has been in existence for 125 years, formalized in 1991 and developed into a lab school partnership in 2018. The annual Discovery Expo, held Friday, March 22, is one of the ways in which the two institutions work together for the benefit of both student populations.

“The main objective is to provide access to a college campus and to explore college and career opportunities in a fun and engaging way,” said Jessica Kopp, Hamline Elementary Lab School Project Manager. “We have an exciting variety of fields that students at an elementary level do not always have access to in their day-to-day life. It also gives university folk the opportunity to show off the things that they love – it’s a good encapsulation of what the entire collaboration is.”

Throughout the day, all Hamline Elementary students will visit Hamline University and explore tables staffed by faculty and university students, covering a wide variety of disciplines, including biology, data analytics, economics, education, English, exercise science, journalism, physics and Spanish.

Each table develops an engagement activity, such as touching, exploring and analyzing sheep brains at the biology table. These hands-on activities have the power to ignite future interests and passions in elementary students.

“One of the overarching purposes for the Hamline to Hamline Collaboration is to make college and careers visible to students,” Kopp said. “College can feel like an unknown and strange place for elementary students who may not be sure how they might fit into such an environment, but the opportunity to be on campus lets them experience a small part of the life of a college student and see that the older students are just bigger versions of themselves. The similar demographics of Hamline University and Hamline Elementary allow for beautiful moments of connection across all our Collaboration programming in the present, and meaningful impact on the future

Members of the Hamline University community involved in the Hand in Hand mentorship program are encouraged to attend the Discovery Expo with their Hamline Elementary “buddy.” The mentor program pairs university students, staff, and faculty with elementary students through a volunteer mentoring wherein the pairs spend 30-45 minutes together each week to build a relationship through fun activities and conversation.

For more information about the Hamline University collaboration with Hamline Elementary, visit the Hamline to Hamline webpage.