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Video: Science Expo 2011 Talk

On Saturday, May 11, I delivered a keynote talk at Science Expo: a conference aimed at encouraging youth to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities.

At first I had the talk recorded as a video, but I wasn’t happy with the quality of how it turned out, both in my speech and in the quality of the video. So I decided to record the talk on my own and show it here.

I hope to keep producing some more videos like this in the future, including both full length talks as well as short, random thoughts on my mind. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Interested in hearing me speak?

I’d love to do more speaking and I’m open to sharing my experiences and doing talks on a variety of topics. If you’re interested in having my speak at a conference, workshop, school or anything of that nature, send me an email at and let me know!

The 30 Posts in 30 Days Challenge

It’s been almost exactly a month since I last posted – what’s going on? Fortunately, last week was March break for me, which means I can use this transition period back to school as a fresh start.

I always keep saying I want to post more but have never really lived up to it. So here I am making a challenge for myself: to post 30 times in 30 days. I’m not placing any rules on myself beyond that. It can be one word or a thousand words, but I have to post 30 times. What do you think? Have something you want me to write about? Let me know – I could use some writing inspiration!

Anyways, on to post 1 of 30…

Science Expo

I’m excited about an upcoming speaking opportunity. I have been invited to be a keynote speaker at Science Expo, a conference that aims to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to high school students in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area. I’m being asked to share some of my stories and motivate high school students to consider pursuing STEM fields.

Whenever I have the opportunity to speak, there are four key things I want to do no matter the topic I am speaking on. I call it the (IF)2 approach (actually I just made this acronym up, but it’s all true!):

I: Inspire – I want to the audience to leave the talk feeling inspired and motivated to go out and do something themselves. Maybe it’s related to my message and maybe it’s not, but I want to move people and see them move afterwards.

I: Insight – I want to share ideas and thoughts that the audience may not have heard before. I want to challenge conventional thoughts and get the audience going “HMMMM”. Because if I’m just saying what you already know, what’s the point?

F: Fun – I want people to smile, laugh, and have a good time. I know how boring talks can be. I want people to be moved, but I always want them to enjoy themselves, and humour is one of the best ways to do that.

F: Forward – I want the audience to leave knowing exactly how they can move forward from the talk. A lot of times you finish an awesome talk, but you’re left wondering “err… now what?”. I want to close with a resounding, clear, and insightful message. I want the experience to be enriching and motivating and forward-moving. You’ve heard my speak and you know exactly where to go from here!

I’m currently putting together and outline for the talk and I hope I can accomplish all of those (IF)2 goals. If you’re interested in attending the conference, check it out at Hope to see you there!

How to Start a Youth Group in Your School

When I was fifteen, I made a decision that would completely change my life. Inspired by a Report Card on Child Poverty in Toronto, my brother and I decided to start a youth group in our school to tackle child poverty in city. I had never been in a “leadership role” before, so to say that I learned a lot, would be quite the understatement.

That being said, being inexperienced and never having even been in a school club before, we made a lot of mistakes. But that’s okay, because there’s nothing as educational as learning by doing – and that involves making mistakes.

Now I know there are a lot of students out there who might have an idea or an issue important to them, and want to start a youth group or school club, but just don’t know where to start. Hopefully I can help you with that.

What follows is a basic, step-by-step guide to help you set up your own youth group or school club. Hopefully, with this guide, and a bit of passion and confidence, you too can turn your idea or passion into something amazing.

Step 1: Identify an Issue You are Passionate About

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