University of Guelph + STEM Camp

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Supporting STEM learning and STEM initiatives in our Ontario community and beyond is important to us at STEM Camp, so when the Child Development Research Unit (CDRU) at the University of Guelph reached out to us to help them with their research we were excited to support them!

STEM Camp’s role is to inform and invite families in our STEM Camp community to participate in the various research opportunities that are currently underway or about to begin at U of Guelph. Read on to learn more about what critical research is happening, and how you and your family could be a part of it!

The Goal of the Child Development Research Unit (CDRU) at the University of Guelph

While the goal of each specific study varies, in general, the CDRU conducts research to identify the best ways to promote children’s safety. Currently, they have a number of studies that they are recruiting participants for. Some studies are conducted locally (and require participants to be in the Guelph area), while others are looking for participants from all over Canada! Following are details for each study.

Injury Prevention Research

As injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths for children, the CDRU is conducting injury prevention research with families with children of various ages to reduce risk and promote safety, including:

2 – 4 year old children and their mothers:  The CDRU is looking to speak with mothers of young children and learn more about their home-safety efforts and the kinds of hazards their young ones get into when at home.

5 – 6 year old children and their families:  The CDRU has a program that teaches young ones about playing on playgrounds called ‘Cool 2 Be Safe’ – a fun and engaging playground safety program that children enjoy participating in. They are also doing research with this age group to identify the safest types of containers so children cannot access poisons.

7 – 9 year olds and their families: The program for this age uses virtual reality (very cool!) to teach children how to judge traffic and cross streets safely, called the ‘Safe Ped’ Training Program. Additionally, another project uses a  fun indoor obstacle course aimed at understanding some of the risky things children do during play and when they are very excited.

Participants for the injury prevention research projects should be located in the Guelph area, as these are done in-person either at the University of Guelph, at a location in the Guelph area, or in the home. Depending on which injury prevention study you are participating in, the time commitment varies between a single, 1 hour session, to three, 2 hour sessions. In all cases, appointments happen at your convenience (appointments are available during the day, evenings and weekends).   

Those who participate in the study will receive gift cards valued between $5 and $40, depending on which study you participated in. 

Skateboarding Research

For this study, the CDRU is recruiting adolescent skateboarders who have been injured while skating within the last year, for a research project on skateboarding and mental health. The aim of this research is to learn more about the relationship between skateboarding injuries and mental health in order to better support the psychological wellbeing of skaters, and to encourage skateboarding safety. Participation in this study involves a brief (45 minutes maximum) online survey that asks questions about how skateboarding influences mental health outcomes after injury, both positive (for example, the things skaters love and value about the sport), and potentially negative or challenging (for example, feelings of sadness or anxiety after getting hurt) as they recover from injuries.

To participate in this study, children must currently be living in Canada, be between the ages of 14 and 17 years, and have experienced a medically attended injury (that is, they needed to see a doctor, physiotherapist, etc.) when skateboarding within the last year.

Everyone who fills out the online survey will be entered into a draw to win XXXXXXX.  

Safety Rule Negotiation Study

This online study investigates how pre-teens and teenagers negotiate safety rules with their parents as they are developing more independence, as well as looking at how parents negotiate these rules for their children within their own marital relationship. This study involves an interview, some questionnaires and some fun negotiation activities. 

To participate in this study, families must be living in Ontario, children must be 11, 12, 15 or 16 years old, and both parents must be living in the same home. The study is completed entirely online, and the total time commitment is approximately 1.5 hours over XXXX sessions.  

Parents will receive a $20 gift card and the child will also receive a $20 gift card for participating.

Benefits of Participating

In addition to gift cards received for participating in the various studies, additional benefits include:

  • Parents will receive a newsletter outlining the results of the study after the results have been analyzed and published.
  • Families will be helping the CDRU and others gain a greater understanding of parenting practices and child risk taking.
  • Families will be helping identify the best ways to promote child safety.
  • A fun experience! CDRU studies are highly engaging, and children have fun participating in the wide range of activities offered.

How to Participate

Interested families can contact the research team by telephone at 519-824-4120 x55033, or email cdru@uoguelph.ca . Visit cdru.uoguelph.ca or read their newsletter outlining past findings for more information.

Our Mission

STEM Camp is a Canadian, bilingual, not for profit organization with a mission to inspire Canadian youth in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.

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