On 23 February, over one hundred talented high school science enthusiasts gathered at the Ontario Science Center to participate in Science Expo’s 2013 “Derive and Integrate” conference. Science Expo, a student run, non-profit organization, seeks to connect science-minded students to professionals, innovators, and STEM opportunities.
“Science Expo was amazing,” says Lily S. an MGCI delegate, “I met so many new people and made a lot of connections. It was fun and really interesting to see how deeply involved I can be with STEM opportunities. I’ll definitely be going back next year!” Throughout the day, accomplished speakers shared their experiences with science and innovation in an attempt to inspire the crowd. This year’s speakers included Dr. Steve Mann, recognized by his “Digital Eye Glass” invention (the EyeTap) as the “father of wearable computing” and Laura Suen, the runner-up of CBC’s Canada’s Smartest Person contest.
Between Ontario Science Center’s own “Integration” challenges and a scientific “magic” show with recently retired Chemistry teacher Mr. Chamberlain, student delegates had the opportunity to network with seventeen other science-minded organizations providing opportunities for high school students including the Canadian Young Scientist Journal, FIRST Robotics, Youth Science Canada, Ontario Science Center School, and Australia Science.
The day ended with a design challenge that encouraged participants to show their passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: five finalists from the preliminary round presented their pieces to student delegates at the conference. “It was definitely very interesting to see the passion for research and innovation in other students outside my own school environment”, comments Yang Chen, another MGCI delegate. “They are definitely all inspiring, and it’s great to see amazing people working so hard to pursue something that they love, and I’m always an advocate [of pursuing] passion no matter what.”