Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is guest authored by Jennifer Flanagan, President and CEO of Actua. The University of Toronto is one of 34 Actua network members across Canada annually engaging 250,000 youth in hands-on STEM.
Today, at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall, over 1200 students gathered to explore, learn and have fun with science and technology at Go North - Inspiring Future Innovators.
Building on the Go North technology summit, this one-day immersive event highlights the countless possibilities that STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - has to offer. The day is run by Actua and the University of Toronto’s Engineering Outreach team, who are national leaders in STEM programming. The participants, in grades 4 to 8, and their teachers engaged in hands-on workshops meant to spark a passion and stimulate a curiosity in STEM.
We kicked off the day with Phil McCordic, host of Science Max, who brought the 1,200 students in Convocation Hall to their feet with his immersive performance.
The partnership between the University of Toronto, Actua and Google is built on the shared goal that this experience will ignite and inspire these young students to consider computer science as not just a field of study but as a way to solve the big world problems of the future. According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of students entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. U of T, Actua and Google recognize the urgency of fostering an interest in STEM and the critical need to help equip students with skills they will need to excel.
In Innovate Alley, a corridor lined with education startups and tools to help ignite curiosity, the students and their teachers had an opportunity to immerse themselves in hands-on workshops with U of T engineering students and Actua outreach instructors.
For more than 20 years, Actua and our university network members have worked to prepare young Canadians to be innovators and leaders by engaging them in exciting and accessible STEM experiences that build critical skills and confidence.
This includes our Codemakers program, supported by Google, which has engaged over 80,000 youth in computer science and digital skill building. Canadian youth from all over this country have participated in Codemakers whether through coding throat singing in Canada’s north or printing 3-D selfies in Vancouver or participating in events like today. This unique partnership allows us to create unique moments of inspiration that connect technology to kids lives in meaningful ways.
A student experiences Virtual Reality for the first time
Together, we can show students that technology offers everyone the potential to create, to collaborate and to invent.