MCYU Family Lectures Logo

COVID-19 Update:

Dear Friends of MCYU,

Due to the ongoing health concerns surrounding Covid-19, classes and public events at McMaster University have been moved online. In keeping with McMaster’s policies, MCYU will be cancelling its on-campus lecture series for the 2020-2021 school year. We are working with the Hamilton Public Library to try and bring you our MCYU in the City Workshops online.

How can you stay involved with MCYU this year?

Our programming has not slowed down! We have discovered new creative ways to engage with our community online.

Our NEW KID ZONE page on our website has been set up as a place where children & youth can go to Question, Discover, Create with online lectures, activity challenges, a virtual sculpture tour and more!

The best way to stay up to date with us is to sign up for our mailing list.

We look forward to seeing all our friends soon.
Please take extra precautions to wash your hands, wear a mask and stay safe.
MCYU staff

MCYU logo

MCYU’s on-campus program offers FREE, monthly lectures on Saturday mornings at McMaster University’s Main St. West Campus. These lectures are geared towards 7-14 year olds, to spark their curiosity and expose them to the university environment. These fun, youth-friendly lectures cover topics that span all disciplines at McMaster (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math – STEAM), providing youth with an opportunity to experience what it feels like to be a university student.

Lectures are presented by professors who are experts in their field, and incorporate interactive demonstrations and discussion to encourage youth to questions the topics. These interactive sessions prompt questions from youth as young as six years of age, and empower them by providing the opportunity to engage with world renowned researchers.

Our programming demonstrates how subjects that youth are learning about in school are used in everyday life, and that they can also be knowledge creators.

Post Lecture Activities

Everyone learns in different ways, and learning is enhanced when students get to experience the excitement of discovery. MCYU has partnered with the McMaster chapter of Lets Talk Science to offer post-lecture, hands-on activities that relate to the lecture topic. This hands on learning experience helps make the information from the lecture come to life.

Families can explore the campus together and get a feel for a post-secondary environment in one of the top five universities in Canada, and top 100 in the world!


How do I register?

Online registration for the lecture series will open in late August. 

Do I have to register my children separately?

Yes. We ask all parents to register their children separately. This is to ensure we capture the details of all children who attend 6 or more lectures and qualify to receive a graduation certificate at the end of the year.

I can’t register for all the events. Is there a waiting list?

Yes! Sometimes we reach seating capacity for an event. If that happens, we will try to secure a larger lecture hall in which case we will release additional tickets to the names on our waitlist. If you would like to be notified when seats become available, please register your name on the waitlist.

Can I show up without registering?

Yes. However, to avoid disappointment we suggest attendee’s register in advance. You are welcome to attend without registration, but admittance is not guaranteed.

I need to cancel my registration. What should I do?

Please contact us if you cannot attend and we will give your seats to a family on the waiting list. Please email or call 905-521-2100 ext.73790.


Is there an age limit?

The suggested age is children 7-14 years old but we do not restrict attendance to that demographic. Students as young as 5 years old and as old as 18 years old often attend.

What topics do the lectures focus on?

MCYU lectures cover a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to: health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, business and history.

How do you choose the lecture topics?

Topics are selected based on recommendations from our children and youth attendees via an electronic survey emailed after each event, as well as verbal recommendations.

What is the structure of lecture day?

Lectures begin promptly at 11a.m. We begin with a short introduction by MCYU co-founder Dr. Sandy Raha, followed by the 45-minute interactive lecture, and 15 minutes of a Q & A between children and the professor.


Following the lectures, we organize post-lecture activities with the McMaster Chapter of Let’s Talk Science for children directly following the event. These activities run for approximately one hour.

What are post-lecture activities?

Post-lecture events are hands-on experiential learning activities that relate to the lecture material. Children and youth are able to apply what they learned in the lecture to real-life scenarios, with the help of Let’s Talk Science mentors. Examples of past post-lecture activities include:


  • Post Robotic Surgery Lecture: Navigating a remote control car through a maze while blindfolded
  • Post Genetics Lecture: Extracting DNA from a banana

Can I volunteer?

Yes! We could always use more help.  Please email or leave your name and email at the registration table at one of our events.

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Girl looking at anatomy props.
Boy looking at ultra sound.
Jennifer Heisz showing kids how to find a pulse.

McMaster Children & Youth University

If you have any questions or are
interested in having MCYU at a place near you, feel free to contact us

Our mailing address is:
McMaster Children and Youth University
1280 Main Street West, HSC-3N11c-j
Hamilton, On L8S 4K1

Phone: 905-521-2100 ext. 73790


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