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Go North event at U of T inspires young STEM students

Students design their vision for a future city at U of T Engineering’s Go North Youth event on June 5 (photo by Laura Pedersen)

More than 1,100 Ontario students in Grades 3 to 8 visited the University of Toronto this week for a chance to peek under the hood of today’s technologies, and get a taste of university life.

The one-day Go North Youth event, created by U of T's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering in partnership with Google Canada and Actua, featured workshops and learning designed to ignite curiosity and showcase the possibility that a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can hold.


Young STEM enthusiasts work on projects at the Go North Youth event (photo by Laura Pedersen)

“Go North is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of the kids to get to the University of Toronto and experience cutting-edge STEM technology,” said Tim Barker, a Grade 4 teacher at McKee Public School in Toronto. “The event offers exactly the kind of experiential learning that both teachers and students are looking for these days.”

Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan helped kick off the event to a crowd full of students in Convocation Hall.

“I am so excited to be here at Go North,” Duncan said. “I want you to know you are the most important people. You’re going to be the astronauts, the engineers, the inventors, the scientists, the teachers. You’re going to be whatever you want to be. You’re going to be the future leaders of our country.”


Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan speaks to Ontario students at the event (photo by William Suarez)

Cristina Amon, dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, talked about pursuing STEM and encouraged students to make the most of the unique opportunity.

“This is your chance to build, design, test and explore what it is like to be an engineer,” said Amon. “Engineers do what we do because we care to make the world a better place.”


Dean Cristina Amon mingled with students at the Go North Youth event (photo by Laura Pedersen)

Earlier in the day, Amon met with other STEM leaders from industry and government for a roundtable discussion on how to best prepare Canadian youth for the future of work through STEM. She emphasized U of T Engineering’s cross-faculty initiatives, multidisciplinary student environment, work-integrated learning, entrepreneurship opportunities and commitment to diversity, as strategies for developing engineering leaders of tomorrow.  

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