Glenforest students host Canada’s largest student-led conference on STEM education

Glenforest Secondary School students have organized the Canadian Youth STEM Conference for grades 9 to 12 students from schools across Ontario. The all-day conference was held on May 25 with more than 1,000 participants, making it Canada’s largest student-led conference on post-secondary programs and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“We are so very proud of our Glenforest students and staff who are involved in bringing this STEM conference to students from all across Ontario,” says Cheri Riddell, principal of Glenforest. “The planning and organization of this event has afforded our students the opportunity to not only exercise the 21st century leadership skills of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication, character and citizenship, it also allows our community partners to work with incredible students who are their future employees.”

Delegates listened to keynote addresses by David Miller, chief executive officer of World Wildlife Fund, and Dr. Heather Sheardown, Canada Research Chair in Ophthalmic Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Systems and McMaster University Chemical Engineering Professor.

Special guest speakers included:

  • Honourable Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell
  • Member of Parliament for Mississauga East-Cooksville, Peter Fonseca
  • Mississauga City Councilor Ward 3, Chris Fonseca
  • Hillary Marshall, vice-president, Greater Toronto Airport Authority

Students had an opportunity to explore post-secondary pathways by visiting representatives from some of Ontario’s leading universities and colleges, on hand to offer information on specialized STEM programs offered by their institutions. Many of these universities and colleges also had workshops and hands-on activities that explore STEM-based education and careers. Workshops and activities were also offered by participating organizations, such as Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, Let’s Talk Science, McMaster University, Professional Engineers of Ontario and Region of Peel.

The conference has brought together an impressive range of professionals from diverse backgrounds in STEM for the Speakers’ Forum and Speed Mentoring. These speakers provided insights on their education and share the challenges and rewards of their specific careers, with the intent of guiding and inspiring youth who are looking to pursue a future in STEM.

Special guest dignitaries at the conference included Peel District School Board Director of Education Tony Pontes and Peel Board Trustee, Sue Lawton.


The conference was held on May 25 at Pearson Convention Center in Brampton.

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