After Dakota Kruger blew on a balloon that had been dipped in liquid nitrogen, she decided that going to university to study science would be pretty neat.

“It was cool,” said the shy Grade 5 student, who was in attendance at the University of Alberta’s U School yesterday.

Kruger has been attending U School all week with her classmates from Sherwood School.

The program is an initiative of the University of Alberta Senate, and brings in students from inner city schools to explore the learning opportunities at the post-secondary institution.

“We target mainly high need schools, but all could be welcome at some time,” said Linda Hughes, senate chancellor.

“It shows them university and higher education could be in their future.”

Hughes said the students who have participated in the program start out shy and intimidated, but are really excited by the end of the week.

“They say ‘I’m going to go to university,’” she said, adding it’s a great thing, whether they want to become a scientist or an artist.

Teacher Colin Samchuk said the students from Sherwood School spent the week touring the campus, meeting athletes and learning about subjects such as photography, Iroquois Confederacy and archeology.

Yesterday, they were in Triffo Hall, taking in science experiments related to space.

Three classes took in the program back in the spring, and Sherwood School was the fourth of nine inner city schools that will attend U School this year.

That means 305 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 will have had a taste of the university experience by the end of the school year.

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