Experiences Canada is thrilled to announce a new comprehensive series of fun and engaging free Virtual Youth Forums launching in December! The forums are designed to connect young people across the country and spur dialogue and learning in line with curricula from grades 7-12 in STEM, social studies, language, and creative studies, as well as second language learning. The topics have been organized in the following themes:
- Diversity and Inclusion will build upon two previous forums hosted by Experiences Canada exploring topics such as poverty, cultural racism, and gender equality to help youth deepen their understanding the systemic barriers faced by some Canadians and how they can become stronger advocates and allies to address those barriers and foster a more inclusive environment in their classrooms, clubs, and community activities.
- Reconciliation will bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to have meaningful conversations about a better path forward for the relationship between Canadians, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis. The series will be delivered in collaboration with Indigenous partner organizations with a focus on teaching and learning from an Indigenous perspective.
- Find Your Path will be aimed at helping youth who have no clear picture of what they want to do after high school to match their personal aptitudes and interests with different career options and begin mapping their plan for their next steps. Through the webinars they will learn to identify their skills, volunteering and mentorship opportunities in their chosen field of interest, as well as begin researching and preparing for post-secondary programs to support them.
- Climate Change will help youth address growing climate anxiety but providing an introduction to understanding the Canadian realities of the global climate crisis. It will dispel common myths, explore where the greatest risks are, and what actions are already underway to mitigate those risks.
- STEM and the Digital World will be of interest to youth already thinking about STEM careers, but will also be designed to encourage non-science-oriented youth to explore how STEM informs all of society; potentially opening their minds to a career path they never thought about. The webinar program will lead them through an exploration of STEM’s impacts, essential skills for the digital world, and how STEM is contributing to solving other social and political challenges.
Experiences Canada will record all of the webinars and speaker presentations at the in-person event and repackage the presentations and workshop materials as educational resources made available to teachers and independent learners thus extending the reach and impact of the series in subsequent years.
The forum webinars will feature both English and French speakers presenting in their own language with translations made available to youth participants a few days following the recording. Workshop groups will be established in both English and French, and any supporting educational resources will be available in both languages. Onsite at in person events, bilingual capacity may vary depending on the location, however Experiences Canada staff and youth leader volunteers will provide the necessary support to ensure all youth are able to participate fully.
Youth will receive a certificate and gift package upon completion of each forum to recognize their knowledge and skills developed through this highly engaging series of presentations, group activities, and persona project challenges.