Science Expo: Enrich, Empower, Explore
The Science Expo Youth Empowerment Group (SEYEG) is a student run, non-profit organization which aims to connect youth to innovators and enrichment opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). SEYEG was founded by five students who met at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in 2009. In 2010, the first Science Expo, a 2-hour conference held in Guelph, Ontario, brought together over 200 students, teachers and parents. Today, SEYEG includes a student and teacher outreach program, an alumni mentorship program (EXPOtential) and a creative competition (meriSTEM) in addition to an annual conference.
Science Expo 2013: Derive and Integrate, Science Expo’s fourth annual conference, took place this past Saturday at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada. The conference brought together over one hundred high-achieving students from across the province interested in pursuing STEM enrichment opportunities. With guest speakers, networking workshops and STEM challenges, the day was a huge success and the delegates returned home with a renewed passion for discovery.
The morning began with a delightful science magic show, where Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Oslinger showed off their impressive comedic and chemistry skills. A literal ice breaker followed, in which delegates were challenged to melt a bag of ice as fast as they could without using body heat. Students were even seen holding ice to light bulbs in the ceiling!
During lunch, delegates were given the chance to interact with exhibitors from various STEM programs. Youth Science Canada, Shad Valley, the University Ontario Institute of Technology, Engineers Without Borders and Australian Science are a few of the organizations with which students could get involved.
Guest speakers this year included:
• Dr. Steve Mann, the father of wearable computing
• Dr. Brad Brass, co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
• Paul Nazareth, business advisor
• Laura Suen, Canada’s Smartest Person, runner-up
Each presentation was inspirational and insightful, demonstrating important life lessons to attendees. Dr. Mann touched on the importance of thinking outside of the box when approaching a scientific concept, while Paul Nazareth and Dr. Bass illustrated the power of networking. Laura Suen mentioned the concept of happy accidents through the presentation of her past successes.
The day also included presentations from the finalists of the meriSTEM competition. In its foundational year, meriSTEM is a competition that allows participants to create anything which captures an interesting aspect of STEM. Five finalists presented these creative projects, with the winner receiving a $500 scholarship.
For more information on Science Expo’s initiatives and how you can get involved, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or check out their website at www.science-expo.org .